NBC Sports hockey analyst Mike Milbury played in one of the toughest eras in NHL history, but you might be surprised to learn the hardest hit he ever took actually came from a Boston Bruins teammate.
In an interview with NBC Sports Boston's Camera Guys, Milbury described how Bruins legend Cam Neely absolutely drilled him in a practice shortly after the Hall of Fame forward was traded to Boston.
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"Cam Neely had come to our club, and I didn't know much about him," Milbury admitted. "Barry Pederson was involved in that trade. I know that one of the Bruins' chief scouts was really big on Cam Neely. They acquired him, and it was a hell of a deal by Harry Sinden.
"We're practicing one day and I went to move the puck out of the zone and Neely came full force into me, and he jettisoned me -- he didn't just hit me, it was like I was on a pogo stick and I just went up into the air. My eyes were wide open and I felt like -- I didn't know when I was going to come down. Just the sheer force of it left me almost weightless and I was up there for what seemed like an eternity. Then I finally looked up from the ice and there was Neely laughing at me."
"He's done a great job (as B's president) and he had a great career. It's just unfortunate he couldn't go a little bit longer -- thank you Ulf Samuelsson."
Neely was one of the most feared players in the league during his Bruins career. Not only could he score between 40 and 50 goals in a season, he also unleashed punishing hits and wasn't afraid to fight anyone. It sounds like Milbury got a first-hand look at Neely's toughness early in the power forward's tenure with the B's.
Milbury's final season with the Bruins was 1986-87, which also happened to be Neely's first with the team after it acquired him via trade from the Vancouver Canucks. Milbury later coached Neely and the Bruins for the 1989-90 and 1990-91 seasons, during which Boston lost in the Stanley Cup Final (1990) and the Prince of Walers Conference Final (1991).
Check out the Camera Guys' full interview with Milbury in the YouTube video below: