Senators sign Chris Neil to three-year extension

Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun broke the news tonight that Chris Neil has signed a three-year extension with the Senators, valued at a reported $5.75M over the course of the contract. Neil was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after next season, but the Senators decided to lock him up before the process dragged out (like it did last time around).

G A P +/- PIM
2011 - Chris Neil 13 15 28 -10 178

Neil is coming off of one of his most productive seasons as an Ottawa Senator, making this deal much more palatable than when he signed a four-year deal in 2009 worth $8M after a 10 point campaign, a contract that drew the ire of many fans at the time. It's a minor pay cut from his last deal, which makes sense given that he'll be 37 by the time the contract ends. It's not more of a pay cut because salaries have continued to rise since Neil signed back in 2009, and pugilists who can actually play hockey are still a valuable commodity on the open market.

Neil has proven himself to be a valuable component of Ottawa's rebuild, and is no doubt part of the reason that physical players like Colin Greening and Zack Smith managed to perform well early in their NHL careers. Neil's been given a significant third-line role under coach Paul MacLean, one that includes a surprising amount of powerplay time -- Neil played an average of 1:42 on the PP each game, 23 seconds more per game than the recently departed Nick Foligno.

It's hard to imagine Ottawa's all-time penalty minutes leader in anything but a Senators jersey, and it looks like Bryan Murray and Chris Neil agree.

Could not load content

Not everyone can afford to pay for sports coverage right now, and that is why we will keep as much of the site's content free for as long as we can.

But if you are able to, please consider subscribing to help keep our articles free (and get a few extra perks).

Erik Condra
  • Ability to comment and participate in our community
  • Twice monthly newsletter available only to subscribers
  • Ad-free reading
  • Our undying love and appreciation
Brady Tkachuk
  • Everything from the Erik Condra tier
  • 10% discount on all merch
  • Access to any future paywalled content
  • A personal thank-you from the Silver Seven staff
Daniel Alfredsson
  • Everything from the Brady Tkachuk tier
  • Inner peace knowing you are supporting quality, independent coverage of your favourite sports team