Robert Barry Neely ( born November 9, 1953 in Sarnia, Ontario ) is a retired Canadian ice hockey player (defender) who played from 1973 to 1978 for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Colorado Rockies in the National Hockey League.
As a junior he played with the Hamilton Red Wings in the OHA. Within the league, he moved to the Peterborough Petes. Here he played very physical and resolutely. That earned him not only the respect of his opponents one, but also attracted the attention of scouts. In 1972 he reached the finals with the Petes to the Memorial Cup, but had to be there the Cornwall Royals with Al Sims and Richard Brodeur beaten.
His big day he had the NHL Amateur Draft 1973, when it chose the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round as tithing, and the WHA Amateur Draft in 1973, when the Chicago Cougars as the first player of the draft the rights guaranteed to him.
Right in the 1973/74 season he made the jump to the NHL. Here he could not excel as a great scorer, but because of its body-hugging style of play that showed his dedication, he was very popular with the fans. Dissatisfied Neely was that the Maple Leafs put him as a tough guy, so as a player for physical fights, and not as a full -back. His coach Roger Neilson put him often as a left winger. During the season 1977/78 he was discharged to the Colorado Rockies. After the season, the Maple Leafs brought back the rights to him. However, he did not return to the NHL.
He played two years in the American Hockey League for the New Brunswick Hawks, before he ended his career.
- OMJHL First All -Star Team: 1973
- AHL First All -Star Team: 1980