Love him or hate him, you have to respect the blood, sweat and tears that Chris Neil has shed over his 11+ seasons as a member of the Ottawa Senators.
On Thursday night, the Senators tough guy scored his 100th career goal. While that is an accomplishment that has been celebrated by 994 other NHL players before him, Neil did actually join a pretty exclusive group. When you look at his combined goals and penalty minutes, Neil is in a class of his own.
Neil became just the 27th player in the history of the league have reached 100 goals and also amassed over 2,000 penalty minutes in a career. Furthermore, he is just the 2nd player to have done it while playing with one franchise for his career. Terry O’Reilly is the other. He is the only active player on the list, as he is the only active player with over 2,000 PIMs.
So to put in into better perspective, reduce the PIMs to 1,500 to have a more inclusive group. Well, sort of more inclusive. That group only includes Neil and Zdeno Chara (as well as the injured and semi-retired Chris Pronger).
Neil’s style of game might not be everyone’s cup of tea, and he will never, barring a sudden surge in offense, make it to the 200 goal plateau, but there is no arguing the impact he has had on the Senators organization during his 824 career games. For someone who lays it on the line on a nightly basis reaching the 100 goal milestone is something to be celebrated.