Ottawa Senators: Chris Neil’s Departure Marks the End of an Era

OTTAWA, ON - MAY 6: Chris Neil
OTTAWA, ON - MAY 6: Chris Neil /

The Ottawa Senators ended their relationship with Chris Neil this year and with it they ended an era.

With the Sens announcing that they will part ways with veteran enforcer Chris Neil it ends an era. Neil was the last remaining member of the teams 2007 Stanley Cup Final run. Now the longest tenured member of the Ottawa Senators is Erik Karlsson.

Loyalty and Dedication

Neil was never a star but was always a strong foot soldier for his team. Always willing to do whatever it took to win, he became a fan favourite. His dedication to the team was perhaps more apparent than ever during the Sens’ playoff run this spring. After being absent for nearly the entirety of the second half of the season and the entire playoffs, Neil was brought back into the lineup.

It was the second round and the Sens were battling against the New York Rangers. After taking a quick 2-0 series lead, the Rangers brought the series back to a tie at 2-2. It was the next two games that Neil would be brought back into the lineup. Not expected to score or provide an offensive spark, his job was simple, send a message. He was to show the Rangers that the Sens would not be bullied. He did just that by going after Tanner Glass as soon as he did something questionable. Neil took a penalty but may have won the Sens the series. Following this the Sens looked like a different team and beat the Rangers in both games five and six to win the series.

Next: Ottawa Senators: Patrick Sieloff Signed by Senators

Forever a Senator

Chris Neil has been this way his whole career and he’s had a long career because of it. It’s not often an enforcer reaches 1000 games, much less with one team, but Neil did it. Despite the odds Neil splayed 15 years in the NHL for the Ottawa Senators. He stuck with the team through the good years and the bad and never wavered in his loyalty to the city. For that Chris Neil will always be an Ottawa Senator.