VANCOUVER — Other than his early, injury-forced retirement, few things pain Cam Neely about his Hall-of-Fame career more than the two Stanley Cup Final losses the Bruins suffered to Edmonton in 1988 and 1990.
Today, however, he explained that if the Bruins can win the Cup against his hometown Vancouver Canucks with him in a business suit — he’s now the team president — instead of a uniform, he’ll gladly take it.
“It would be by far the next best thing, there’s no question,” he said today during the team’s media day at Rogers Arena. “Absolutely no question. I mean, when you’re a player, your goal is to make the NHL. Once you get into the league, you want to win the Stanley Cup. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to do it in a uniform, but hopefully can do it in a suit.”
It’s almost the 25th anniversary of the trade that sent Neely from the Canucks, who limited his ice time through three lackluster season, to Boston, where he emerged as a superstar. In fact, Game 3 of this series is scheduled for June 6th — the anniversary of the trade and Neely’s birthday.
Neely, however, doesn’t hold any bitterness toward the city.
“I got to Maple Ridge in 1976, became a huge Canuck fan. I think I’ve said this numerous times,” he explained. “I was a huge Stan Smyl fan, had an opportunity to play with him for years. Unfortunately it didn’t work out well for me here, things worked well in Boston. I certainly kept tabs on what happened to the Canucks over the years, of course except when they played us.
“But it’s home, Boston is home as well. It’s fun to see what the Canucks have been able to accomplish, especially this year. They’ve got a great team. It’s going to be a pretty interesting series.”