Canadian Bruins Fan Talks About Naming His Son After Cam Neely, Staying Loyal to the B’s

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Editor's note: NESN.com is asking Bruins fans to share their favorite Bruins memory. Corey Messer, of McAdam, New Brunswick, shares this memory.

Let me start by saying I am a Canadian Bruins fan from McAdam, New Brunswick. Here in Canada hockey is EVERYTHING. We live, breathe and eat hockey 12 months a year. It’s an obsession. I grew up the son of a single mom, started playing hockey at 7 years of age, and fell in love with the sport. I am 40 now, married with three kids, and hockey is still my passion. Growing up I was still undecided on what team I was going to root for. With no Dad around, I was left to make the big decision on my own. All my friends at the time were Montreal Canadiens fans because they were winning all the time. The Bruins were always the underdog and that attracted me to them. I used to be able to pick up Channel 38 Bruins games on my old black and white TV if I held the rabbit ears just right. Ricky “Nifty” Middleton and Brad Park were my favorite players and when Brad Park scored the overtime goal in the 1983 Adams Division Final against Buffalo that cemented it for me. I was going to be a Bruins fan for life!   

Then in the late '80s and early '90s we had Mr. Cam Neely fall in our lap. I didn't like the trade at the time. What was Harry Sinden doing trading a 50-goal man — Barry Pederson — to Vancouver, for who? Cam Neely??? Who the hell is Cam Neely???  Boy, was I wrong on that one. I took abuse from all the Montreal Habs fans for years after losing to them so many times. Neely ended the 45-year curse and the suffering I took when we finally put them out of the playoffs in 1988. He didn't do it alone, but he played with so much determination and grit that he willed it to happen. He was the leader of the pack, no question. Bobby Orr is the best player to ever put on the Bruins uniform, but I’ve only read stories and saw old clips, I never saw him play live. When he scored THE GOAL in 1970, I was a twinkle in my Mom’s eye. Cam Neely became THE Bruins legend for my generation. My second son is named Cameron after Cam Neely (my wife won the coin toss and named my first son Matthew), and to me Neely was the best Bruins player ever.

2011 Stanley Cup Champions … Boston Bruins … finally, we did it! I’ve screamed, cried, moaned, groaned,laughed, anguished over the years with so many emotions. This feeling of pure joy is hard to describe. I have never given up, keeping hope alive year after year. My personal relationship as a Boston Bruins fan runs deep. It’s more than that of a casual fan. The Bruins feel like family to me. We have grown up together. We are always there for each other. That’s what I love about sports and my beloved Bruins — so many ups and downs, the rollercoaster ride. To stand on top of the hockey world for a little while sure is sweet. It’s been a long  journey to get here. WOW WE DID IT!!!

I believe in fate, destiny and all that other weird stuff.  Listen to these freaky connections with me, my family and the BRUINS. In 1972, the last time the B’s won the Cup I was a 1-year-old. My daughter Lauren is now a 1-year-old. My number when I played hockey was 11, and it has always been my favorite number. My son Cam is 11 years old this year. Matthew, my oldest son, randomly picked the number 11 this year for his uniform number. My nephew Dawson, who came to our house for every game the Bruins played in the playoffs, is also 11 years old. This year was meant to be. It was in the stars and it was magical. 2011 will go down as a milestone year in my family. THANK YOU 2011 BRUINS for one hell of a thrill ride !

Do you have a Bruins story to share? Send your story, along with a photo, to fanvoice@nesn.com. Please include the subject line "Share Your Memory" with your name and where you live in the body of the email.

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