Chris Neil and the Ottawa Senators are parting ways after a 19-year relationship that lasted 1,026 games.
According to Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch, the 37-year-old winger has been informed that he will not be returning to the club next year. Neil will become a free agent on July 1 and has previously stated he is not yet ready to retire.
The heavy-handed forward score 112 goals and 250 points in 1,026 games with the Senators. He may not have brought a considerable amount offence throughout his tenure in Ottawa, but he did manage to collect 2,522 penalty minutes along the way.
Garrioch says Neil met with Senators general manager Pierre Dorion and assistant GM Randy Lee on Monday and both sides agreed on the decision.
“They had a meeting with him and told him, ‘We don’t think you’re going to be happy with this role’,” Neil’s agent Todd Reynolds told Postmedia.
“Neil said, ‘Yeah, I don’t think I would be either and it’s probably not what I’d like to endure for a year’. (They agreed) let’s just mutually go our separate ways here and see if something better is out there for you where they’re going to give you eight, nine or 10 minutes a night possibly.
“That’s what he wants to do. He wants to play and still believes he can play and he wants to try to play for another year.”