Chris Neil has officially announced his retirement from professional hockey, ending his career after more than 1,000 games with the Ottawa Senators. The team made the decision not to bring him back early in the offseason, and though he was offered a professional tryout with the Montreal Canadiens (which he declined), never could find a full-time contract offer.
Neil, 38, was beloved by teammates for his work ethic and willingness to protect them on the ice, but will be remembered by the Senators’ organization for more than just his fists. Neil scored 250 points in his career, including a 16-goal season in 2005-06. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Neil around the alumni game on Friday, when two teams of Senators’ legends will take to the ice on Parliament Hill.
- Zdeno Chara is still enjoying life in the NHL, and told Joe McDonald of Boston Sports Journal recently that though extension talks haven’t come up yet he believes one will be signed with the Bruins eventually. Even at 40, Chara is still logging more than 23 minutes a night for the Bruins and seems ready to continue his career. Earning just $4MM this season in the final season of his seven-year deal, he’s been a relative bargain for the Bruins. If he’s willing to take something similar—or even cheaper—there could still be some value to be added for the next couple of seasons.
- Scott Powers of The Athletic caught up with Chicago Blackhawks prospect Henri Jokiharju ahead of the World Junior tournament at the end of the month, and discussed a wide variety of topics. Jokiharju is starring for the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL, but will try to make the NHL squad out of camp next season. At just 18-years old, the Finnish defender has 36 points in 31 games, trailing only Kale Clague and Colby Sissons among WHL defensemen. For any Blackhawks fans wondering about the next wave of prospects, he’ll be a must-watch at the junior tournament, when he is part of an excellent defensive corps for Team Finland.