Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Bob Neely
Bob Neely was a hard-nosed competitor who could play left-wing and defence. He was blessed with decent speed for a big man and had a heavy wrist that could have been unleashed more often. He played nearly 300 games in the '70s, mostly with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The native of Sarnia, Ontario began his junior career with the Hamilton Red Wings of the OHA in 1970-71. Part way through the 1971-72 season "Waldo" joined the Peterborough Petes and began to make a name for himself with his rambunctious play. After scoring 24 goals and registering 304 penalty minutes in 1972-73, Neely added 20 points in the playoffs when the Petes reached the OHA final. That summer he was chosen 10th overall by the Maple Leafs at the Amateur Draft.

Although he only scored five goals as a rookie in 1973-74, Neely was a crowd favourite with his raw energy and willingness to mix it up with the opposition. He continued to run into bodies and score on occasion but his play was undisciplined at times. A source of frustration for the youngster was the club's insistence that he play a tough guy role as opposed to aspiring to be a complete defenceman.

Neely scored 17 goals in 1976-77 but was shifted to left wing by coach Roger Neilson and eventually sent down to the minors. A few weeks later he was loaned to the Colorado Rockies on a trial basis but the club couldn't afford his contract. Neely returned to the Leafs training camp in 1978 but couldn't crack the team. After two solid years with the AHL's New Brunswick Hawks, he retired in 1980.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1970-71 Sarnia Black Hawks OHA-B
1970-71 Hamilton Red Wings OHA-Jr. 34 4 11 15 129 7 0 4 4 4
1971-72 Hamilton Red Wings OHA-Jr. 17 3 8 11 109
1971-72 Peterborough Petes OHA-Jr. 32 8 22 30 96 15 4 8 12 76
1971-72 Peterborough Petes M-Cup 3 0 2 2 6
1972-73 Peterborough Petes OHA-Jr. 55 24 52 76 304 17 3 17 20 44
1973-74 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 54 5 7 12 98 -14 4 1 3 4 0
1974-75 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 57 5 16 21 61 -18 3 0 0 0 2
1974-75 Oklahoma City Blazers CHL 9 2 4 6 14
1975-76 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 69 9 13 22 89 -15 10 3 1 4 7
1976-77 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 70 17 16 33 16 -17 9 1 3 4 6
1977-78 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 11 0 1 1 0 -3
1977-78 Colorado Rockies NHL 22 3 6 9 2 -10
1977-78 Philadelphia Firebirds AHL 29 6 14 20 47 4 1 3 4 2
1978-79 New Brunswick Hawks AHL 60 17 29 46 55 5 0 1 1 0
1979-80 New Brunswick Hawks AHL 64 14 51 65 46 8 1 4 5 2
NHL Totals 283 39 59 98 266 26 5 7 12 15


OMJHL First All-Star Team (1973)
AHL First All-Star Team (1980)
Traded to Colorado by Toronto for cash, January 9, 1978. Traded to Toronto by Colorado for cash, May 30, 1978.
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