When I was in high school and college, the Bruins were pretty good. They made the Stanley Cup Finals in 1990 (my freshman year at Exeter), then made decent playoff runs in subsequent seasons. Bourque and Neely were the mainstays of course, and fan favorites. But whenever we played floor hockey or out on the pond (normal guys in skates, this weird New England kid in sneakers), I wanted to be Adam Oates.
He was a playmaker, not a scorer. His job was to get the puck to the guys who put the biscuit in the basket. And he did it so well that from 1989 to 1994 he was second in points in the NHL behind only Gretzky. He put up monster numbers for the Bruins during his tenure with them (1992-97), including 142 points in the 92-93 season.
The Bruins could never quite get over the hump, and Oates was publicly irritated with management, so he was traded away in 1997. He bounced around the league, racking up assists and points and team sweaters. He never did win a title despite a couple of trips to the Finals, but at the time of his retirement in 2004 he was fifth all-time on the NHL assists list. The guy made plays. In 2012 he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and in 2017 was listed among the NHL’s 100 greatest players ever.
He also holds the record for the most points scored in the NHL by a guy who played NCAA hockey. He was an RPI Engineer (somewhere Aren Paster fist-pumps). One more uniform to add to his seven from the pros.