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Back to Vancouver for Neely, Part 2

Friday, 08.12.2011 / 9:36 PM ET
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Stanley\'s Travels

NHL.com is on the road with the Cup in Vancouver...


'The next best thing'
08.12.2011 / 10:07 PM ET

MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. - Cam Neely finished the semi-public portion of his day with the Stanley Cup at Kingfishers restaurant along the Fraser River here in Maple Ridge. He rented out the place for a private party with his family and close friends. Guys he played with growing up and their parents were here along with all of his family members that still live in the area, including a cousin and an aunt.

The Cup, of course, took center stage in the barroom and it was, as usual, the prominent feature in many photographs.

Neely was as comfortable and happy as anyone in the room. He mingled around the restaurant, rehashing old stories of car pools to the rink while dining over an array of options, including crab legs, chicken wings, lamb shanks, fresh shrimp, short ribs and cooked vegetables.

But, as Neely was mingling inside, his sisters, Christine and Shauna, along with 11-year-old daughter Ava, stepped outside on the patio to go on camera for NHL.com and NHL Network.

Christine, the oldest of the four Neely siblings, told us that while Cam may say winning the Cup as an executive is "not as exciting as winning it as a player, it's just as exciting to his friends, his family and the people of Maple Ridge that he brought it here."

Ava had some of the best stuff to say about her dad, telling us that he didn't really ever talk about the Stanley Cup, "but I could kind of tell that he really wanted it for a long time."

She also said that while she loved being in Vancouver for Game 7 and seeing her dad raise the Cup over his head, the fact that it happened didn't sink in for about a week.

"I was really in shock when they won," she said.

And, her dad seemed just as in shock the morning after the Bruins' won the Cup.

"He didn't really say anything," Ava said. "He was kind of speechless and really happy. We were all happy."

Shauna called the victory "just absolutely unbelievable," and she added "it was also a very emotional time because it was something that I definitely really wanted for him."

Both Christine and Shauna agreed that winning it this year makes up for their brother never winning it as a player.

"Most definitely," Christine said. "For us for sure, and for him, if you ask him, this is the next best thing."

Neely is scheduled to finish his day with the Cup at Christine's house tonight. The Cup goes en route to Kamloops for Mark Recchi's turn early Saturday morning.

-- Dan Rosen



Bringing it home

08.12.2011 / 6:52 PM ET

MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. - Cup keeper Walt Neubrand always offers suggestions to all the players and executives, and he had a good one for Neely today.

Have you ever thought of taking the Cup to your childhood home? Neely hadn't, but now he was intrigued. Now he had to do it.

So, Neely made the limobus driver carrying him, his family, Neubrand and the Cup make an unplanned stop at his old home in Maple Ridge.

Neely had no clue if anyone was home, but he was undeterred. He got out of the bus and placed the Cup on the front lawn and began taking pictures with his sisters and his daughter, Ava.

"I hope they don't mind," Neely said as he looked back toward the house. "I wonder if they're even home."

Ava was curious, too, so she ran up the front walk of the house situated at the end of a cul-de-sac and rang the bell. She rang it twice, and then a third time. There was a car in the driveway, but nobody was home.

It was their loss - imagine their surprise had they been home and opened the door. Then again, maybe they were Canucks fans and didn't want to take part in the celebration.

Who knows?

Neely wrapped up and got back in the bus. After a quick stop back at his sister's house, the bus took him and the family to Kingfishers, a restaurant on the Fraser River, for a private party with friends.

That's where we are now.

- Dan Rosen

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