Sports, Leadership & Life » Accountability
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Cam Neely
May 14, 2009

Heading into Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, I found myself reflecting on what it means to be a Boston Bruin. When I came to Boston in 1986, I knew I was joining a storied franchise. Playing for an Original Six team was huge…it was a big deal for me, a big deal for my family and it still is a big deal. You knew what it meant to put on “that” jersey. I knew that the guys who went before me were some of the best. I knew I had a lot to live up to.

051309_neely-web1I truly understood and respected the Bruins jersey when I wore it. I knew that the likes of Eddie Shore, Milt Schmidt, John Bucyk, Gerry Cheevers, Brad Park, Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Terry O’Reilly, Wayne Cashman, Keith Crowder, Stan Jonathan, Reggie Lemelin – I could go on and on – all wore that jersey around the locker room. Their strong presence could be felt. Boston loved its Bruins and I knew it. I could feel the fans longing for the Stanley Cup Championship teams of the 1970’s.  When I stepped onto the ice at the old Garden I knew what the people of this great city expected of me. I took pride in putting on that jersey. I played with all my heart and soul every single game. I did it for myself, my teammates and all the fans watching.  I felt accountable every time I put that “B” on. I loved playing for the Bruins, I loved the franchise and I still do.

Now that I am playing a different role in the organization, the accountability for wearing “that” jersey has a new meaning for me. As I watched our current team, heading back to Carolina for Game 6, I knew the players felt that same sense of accountability. The Boston Bruins are in a different place than they were just three years ago. Our people (owners, GM, management, coaches, scouts) are all on the same page. We know what type of player we want to wear our jersey. We know exactly what characteristics we are looking for in a player. Specifically, we are looking for someone who understands the meaning of being part of an Original Six team – a player who understands the history of the franchise and who knows that different types of players brought various qualities to the organization to make this Original Six team what it is. The men who made this franchise great were proud to wear “that” jersey.

We are looking for accountability.

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3 Comments for “Accountability”

  1. jeremy rogers Says:

    awesome piece. Cam, thanks for everything from the ice to the office.

  2. Michael Knell Says:

    I am the exact type of person the Bruins, and hockey in general, lost over the years. Whether it was a change in the tenacity of the game or the general lack of passion I was watching unfold in front of me – I stopped watching.

    But as Cameron “Cam” Neely mentioned accountability is back and so is the excitement. I am not a “Fan Boy” and I still miss the nastiness of the early eighties & nineties but I never thought the NHL should try to mirror the image of say the European Hockey Leagues.

    With that said, when I think of Cam Neely an instantaneous flood of wonderful memories come rushing back! His snarling disposition, tenacity, courage, crushing body checks, and overall skills were tremendous and an absolute pleasure to watch. Cam was a throwback to Bobby Clarke,Bobby Orr, Gordie Howe and other legends of NHL Days past.

    I want to extend an imaginary hand to Cam Neely and to the NHL in recognizing a true Hall of Famer when his amazing career was cut short.

    Simply a man among boys and I don’ think we will ever see his type again around these parts.


    Michael Knell

  3. tim agostinho Says:

    Cam Neely was not only a hall of famer on ice but he is trying to replicate that in the office as well. We all know there is only one Cam Neely. There will never be another like him. I can say with confidence that Cam lived vicariously through all of us in the boston area. This guy put his body on the line every night. The only thing he can do now is watch from above and just imagine what could of been if not for his injuries and to continue to build a better team. Lord knows what will happen if we win it all….

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