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Neil joining exclusive Sens club

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

Friday, 20.03.2009 / 12:37 PM / Features
By Rob Brodie  - OttawaSenators.com
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."




STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 82 20 54 -15 74
J. Spezza 75 23 43 -26 66
K. Turris 82 26 32 22 58
C. MacArthur 79 24 31 12 55
B. Ryan 70 23 25 7 48
A. Hemsky 75 13 30 -15 43
M. Michalek 82 17 22 -25 39
M. Zibanejad 69 16 17 -15 33
M. Methot 75 6 17 0 23
P. Wiercioch 53 4 19 -1 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 25 16 8 .911 3.00
R. Lehner 12 15 6 .913 3.06
SENS ARMY FAN POLL