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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Neely, Dude

Neely, Dude

Most people probably know Cam Neely as the five-time All-Star hockey player for the Boston Bruins. A smaller group recognizes Neely as a member of a charitable family devoted to helping cancer patients and their families.

Neely is to receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the 2003 UMass Boston commencement ceremony being held at the Bayside Exposition Center. Other honorary degree recipients include Ionaid Muircheataigh, president of national University Ireland, Galway, State Senator Jarrett Barrios, and Marian Wright Edelman, president and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund..

Bruins fans remember Neely as one of the grittiest and most talented players of his era. He scored a total of 395 regular season goals over a total of thirteen seasons. But what endured him most to the fans was his tough guy attitude. He was a more talented offensive version of Terry O’Reilly. Neely would have very easily blended into the Big Bad Bruins teams of the 1970s.

His statistics would have been even more impressive if not for a number of injuries to his knees and thigh. In fact over his five seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL), he played in only 162 out of 410 games. If his career had not been tragically cut short by injury, he could have gone down as one the best wingers in NHL history.

But for the time he was on the ice, he was one of the best, he was three-time 50 goal scorer on one of the best teams in the late 80s and early 90s. He was named to the NHL Second-team four times (1988, 1990, 1991, 1994). Along with defenseman Ray Bourque, he twice led his teams to the Stanley Cup finals.

Neely’s legacy will continue for his philanthropic work in the Greater Boston area. Neely lost their parents to cancer within six year of each other. Realizing the extreme difficulties that families with cancer victims undergo, the Neely and his siblings, Scott, Shaun, and Christine started the Neely House, a bed and breakfast style home, à la the Ronald McDonald House,at the Tufts New England Center that allows families to stay near their cancer stricken loved ones undergoing treatment at the hospital. It provides support groups and services for the families as well.