Chris Neil, Brian Boyle

Report: Neil won’t be disciplined for his head hit on Boyle


Senators tough guy forward Chris Neil has a bit of a bad reputation around the league. Seeing his hit on New York’s Brian Boyle last night that wound up giving Boyle a concussion, the talk today was over whether or not Neil would hear from the league.

According to both Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos and Renaud Lavoie of RDS, Neil will not have a date with Brendan Shanahan. According to Kypreos, Neil’s hit is almost the exact opposite of the one Raffi Torres delivered to knock out Marian Hossa and earn himself a 25-game suspension.

Kypreos says Neil’s hit wasn’t late, he didn’t leave his feet to make contact with Boyle, and the head wasn’t the principle point of contact. With all of those points being big ones for deciding to take action, Neil’s hit passes the test regardless of how ugly it looked.

The hit left Rangers coach John Tortorella steamed up saying it was just as bad as Torres’ hit on Hossa. You can’t fault a coach for trying to use politics and earn an edge for his team. The Sens, meanwhile, will now have Neil in the lineup for Game 6 as they look to eliminate the top seeded Rangers.

Ducks name Kesler alternate captain

Ryan Kesler
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For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”

On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.

With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.

“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”

As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.

It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.

Diaz could leave Rangers for Europe

Raphael Diaz, Mike Sislo
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Could Raphael Diaz be on his way back to Switzerland?

We’ll know in a month.

Diaz, who lost out on the Rangers’ final blueline spot in training camp, has reported to the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but doesn’t seem pleased with his current situation, per the Post:

The 29-year-old Diaz, who cleared waivers last Saturday after the Blueshirts opted to keep rookie Dylan McIlrath as the club’s seventh on the blue line, is interested in the European option if he is not in the NHL.

The Blueshirts have told Diaz they will revisit the situation at the end of October, but have not promised to release him or assign him to a European team at that point.

If Diaz, a Swiss native who represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, does play in Europe during the season, he would have to go through waivers in order to return to the NHL.

Diaz’s agent, Ritch Winter, told the Post that Diaz signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Rangers “to play with the Rangers.”

And it’s understandable if Diaz — a journeyman offensive defenseman — isn’t happy with this situation.

While some believe McIlrath earned his roster spot on merit, some think it’s because of his contract status. McIlrath, who’s only 23 and a former first-round pick, would’ve needed to clear waivers to go back to Hartford, and it’s believed he would’ve been claimed by another club.