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Neil joining exclusive Sens club

Veteran forward set to play 500th career game Saturday vs. Islanders

Friday, 03.20.2009 / 12:37 PM ET / Features
By Rob Brodie  - OttawaSenators.com
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Neil joining exclusive Sens club
Better late than never for Chris Neil.

The rugged Senators forward will reach a milestone on Saturday night in terms of National Hockey League service, suiting up for the 500th game of his career when Ottawa faces off against the New York Islanders at Scotiabank Place (7 p.m., CBC, Team 1200).

"I feel great that I've been around this long and hopefully I've got a lot more in me to keep going," said Neil, 29, who's in his seventh season with the Senators. "When you first come into this league, you want to get 100 (games) in and now you're at 500. Then you see guys this year getting to 900 (Daniel Alfredsson and Shean Donovan) and 1,000 (Jason Smith) and you hope you can keep on rolling and injuries don't set you back and you can get another 500."

Neil's milestone should have arrived much sooner, but he's missed 22 games this season because of injuries and illness. His game total for this season will be a career low for a guy who's always shown plenty of durability.

"I've been fortunate throughout my career so far in that I haven't had many injuries," he said. "Hopefully, I've got them all behind me and I can keep on truckin'."

"I feel great that I've been around this long and, hopefully, I've got a lot more in me to keep going. When you first come into this league, you want to get 100 (games) in and now you're at 500." - Chris Neil
When Neil hits the ice against the Isles, he will become just the seventh player to log 500 games in a Senators uniform. Only Daniel Alfredsson (921), Wade Redden (838), Chris Phillips (769), Radek Bonk (689), Mike Fisher (529) and Alexei Yashin (504) rank higher on that list.

"It's been great to have been with this organization that long," said Neil, a sixth-round pick in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. "Playing with guys like Wade Redden, Daniel Alfredsson, Chris Phillips and Dany Heatley ... it's been great. Mike Fisher has been around for a long time. Those are the guys who have been here with me through the good times and the bad times. It says a lot about the organization and how they've drafted."

Neil is still hopeful he can sign a new contract with the Senators before he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

"It feels good to be part of an organization that you've been able to play 500 games with," he said. "Hopefully, there are still a lot more (games) left to play in an Ottawa uniform."




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ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
3 DET 74 40 22 12 216 201 92
4 BOS 75 37 25 13 199 195 87
5 OTT 74 37 25 12 216 199 86
6 FLA 75 34 26 15 186 205 83
7 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
8 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

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2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 74 19 41 9 60
K. Turris 74 22 32 -1 54
B. Ryan 70 18 35 9 53
M. Stone 72 19 33 14 52
M. Hoffman 71 26 20 19 46
M. Zibanejad 72 19 24 2 43
M. Michalek 66 13 21 3 34
C. MacArthur 54 13 14 -10 27
D. Legwand 72 9 18 2 27
A. Chiasson 68 11 15 -4 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Hammond 14 1 1 .938 1.92
C. Anderson 14 12 8 .923 2.48