Former Boston Bruins star Cam Neely got in touch with Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero today to ask about the possibility of joining the loaded Penguins for a shot at his first Stanley Cup.
"I realize I'm 47 years old and haven't played in 17 years," said Neely, who was forced to retire in 1996 due to injuries, "but Chris Chelios was still a serviceable player at this age and I'm nothing if not rested. Plus, whatever I might be lacking in speed or skill, I'll make up for it in wanting it more than anyone else."
Neely's career was cut short by a chronic injury to a hip that was initially damaged on a check by Penguins defenseman Ulf Samuelsson. But Neely says he has no hard feelings.
"Ulf isn't on the team anymore. And I simply want to win a Cup," he said. "I always was jealous of how Ray Bourque got to go to the Avalanche to win a championship. This is my shot to do that."
Shero says he is not sure he has a place for Neely.
"I respect what Cam did in this sport immensely, but I'm just not sure we can use a 47 year-old wing right now," he said. "I told him that, but he still wants to come in for a tryout. We'll see what happens. He asked if he could borrow some skates, which doesn't strike me as a positive sign."
Neely's interest in the Penguins is just the latest blow to the Bruins, who lost out on trading for Jarome Iginla.
"I realize I'm the team president of the Bruins, but in that job I know them better than anyone else," he said. "And I know that the Penguins are the superior team right now. That's who I want to play for, not the Bruins. It's nothing personal and I hope Boston fans can understand that."