Ray Bourque (Photo Credit: leedifilippo_x33sports/ Flickr)
In light of our post on Puck Daddy we’ve received a lot of comments as to why Ray Bourque and Cam Neely weren’t mentioned. Well, you asked, we’re answering. It’s not that we don’t feel they were qualified enough to be mentioned as history shows, they have every right to be etched in stone as the Best in Boston. However, we were given a criteria to follow, choose the all-time Best representative. We felt that Bergeron made a strong case with all of his accomplishments that he’s made. However, the greatest of all-time is and always will be Bobby Orr.
We made our choices based on how well players represented the Bruins, taking into account ONLY their time and efforts made in Boston. For this reason players like Jaromir Jagr, Bill Guerin, Sergei Gonchar and Hal Gill weren’t considered.
All of that being said, we have compiled a list of the players we feel best represent Canada since we honestly couldn’t put them all in the PD post.
As it’s been stated, there have been so many Canadian hockey players that have come to play for the Bruins, in addition to showcasing Bergeron and Orr, there has to be light shed on Cam Neely and Ray Bourque, we know!
Cam Neely became a legend with his hard-hitting style and high-scoring. He ranks fifth among goal scorers in franchise history with 344, averaging .66 goals-per-game. All of this despite being littered with injuries throughout his ten-year tenure. In 2004 his number (8) was retired by the Bruins and the following year he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Personally, my argument is and was for Ray Bourque, but this site is represented by two people, not just myself. Ray Bourque, while he may have retired in Colorado after hoisting the Cup in 2001, will forever be the greatest defenseman I’ve had the pleasure in watching. In his tenure with Boston, Bourque captained 11-seasons, playing in 1,518 games, the longest of any Bruns player. He holds a franchise record of 1506 career points, along with most assists and most power play goals. He tops all defensemen of the NHL with his career points and was the Norris Trophy recipient five times. In 2001 his number (77) was retired and in 2004 Bourque was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Adam Oates spent six seasons with the Bruins throughout the 1990’s, appearing in 368 games. He recorded 142 goals and 357 assists, his best season being 1992-1993 where he posted 142 points, the second highest single-season total in Bruins history. In 2012, he was officially inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and is currently the head coach of the Wahington Capitals.
Another prominent player to ever come into the Bruins organization was Cecil ‘Tiny’ Thompson. He was the first Bruins elite goaltender, helping to bring them to their first Stanley Cup Title in 1929. Throughout the 1930’s he won himself four Vezina Trophies and ranks first among goalies in franchise history in minutes played (28,948), wins (252) and shutouts (74). He has also been inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1959.
Terry O’Reilly was picked by the Bruins in the 1st round as the 14th pick overall in the1971 NHL Amateur Draft and spent his entire career in Boston, captaining the team for two seasons (1983-84, 1984-85). He was best known for his physicality, racking up over 200 penalty minutes throughout the course of five seasons. He was often seen alongside Phil Esposito who deemed him ‘Taz’ for the way he carried himself with his often reckless behavior on the ice.
Some may be surprised to find I’m not a ‘new’ Bruins fan, in fact, I’ve been watching since 1994. I know the players that have been suggested and agree that Byron Dafoe should have had a mention in the ‘Rest of the World Category’. We make mistakes, that doesn’t make us unintelligent or incapable of knowing a team.
At the end of the day, when all is said and done, any given article is an opinion. People are going to agree with you and people are going to disagree with you. The fact that Neely and Bourque were not mentioned was a massive error on our part. It’s not that they weren’t worthy, it simply came down to we had ONE choice. That final choice was Orr.