Chris Neil

Vancouver Canucks v Ottawa Senators

There’s interest in Chris Neil, says Sens GM

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Could veteran forward Chris Neil be on his way out of Ottawa? According to Senators GM Bryan Murray, there’s interest out there in acquiring the 35-year-old.

At the same time, Murray isn’t sure that trading Neil is something he wants to do, even though the Sens are unlikely to make the playoffs.

From the Ottawa Citizen:

Murray has received an inquiry about Neil, the tough guy winger. Before he would move Neil, Murray says he has to be sure there is enough toughness in the organization, as his AHL Binghamton club is not particularly rugged, either.

“We don’t have a lot of grit, of that caliber, in our organization,” Murray says. “And no matter what you say, you need it.”

Neil has just four goals and three assists in 29 games this season, and he’s only averaging 10:12 of ice time. But for a playoff team in search of a gritty fourth-liner with postseason experience, he could be an option.

Neil is signed through next season for a cap hit of $1.9 million.

According to the Citizen, the Sens may also explore trading d-men Chris Phillips and Marc Methot, veteran forward David Legwand, and/or “one or two others” prior to the March 2 deadline.

Related: Welcome Craig Anderson to the trade rumor mill

Sens looking to move Colin Greening

Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America
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Colin Greening is expected to be a healthy scratch for a fifth straight game tonight when the Ottawa Senators visit the New York Rangers.

Greening has not played since a 5-2 Ottawa loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Jan. 8 and has been a healthy scratch 21 times this season entering tonight’s game.

With Chris Neil returning after missing 16 games with a knee injury, Sens’ GM Bryan Murray doesn’t see Greening getting into the lineup anytime soon.

As a result, Murray is working the phones looking for a new home for Greening.

“I just basically told him that I had talked with a number of GMs. I tried to encourage them to give him an opportunity through a trade or whatever vehicle it may be. At this point, there’s nothing for him,” Murray told TSN 1200 in Ottawa on Monday. “I just told him eventually here, if we don’t get something done, he’s got to play hockey. You can’t play hockey as the 23rd, 24th guy on the roster here so I may have to put him on waivers here at some point in time.”

Greening has one goal and minus-3 rating to go along with 27 penalty minutes in 20 games this season.

The 28-year-old is in the second year of a three-year $7.95 million deal and will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2015-16 season.

Greening has not played in the American Hockey League since appearing in 59 games with the Binghamton Senators during the 2010-11 season.

“He happens to be the guy not in the lineup and is not going to be, it looks like, in the next few games at least,” said Murray. “He’s a young guy with a chance to play can contribute to a team in the National Hockey League. He’s a big guy, he skates pretty well. He just doesn’t fit right now with our group at this moment anyway. Two injuries from now, he could be the most important guy going.”

Murray cited the play of Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who has a goal and two assists in 14 games this season, and the emergence of rookie Curtis Lazar as reasons Greening has struggled to find playing time this season.

Murray has spoken to Greening’s agent about finding a trade for the forward, but if a deal can’t be found, Greening is expected to be placed on waivers following the all star break.

Video: Sens’ Neil suffers knee injury in loss to Kings

Chris Neil
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Chris Neil suffered a knee injury late in the first period of Ottawa’s 5-3 loss to the L.A. Kings Thursday night.

It’s not apparent when exactly the injury happened, but Neil got run over by Kings’ defenseman Brayden McNabb during his final shift. He also delivered a hit to Dwight King before leaving the ice.

Post-game Senators coach Dave Cameron told reporters Neil suffered a knee injury and is week-to-week.

Neil not exactly apologetic after late punch on Dorsett

Vancouver Canucks v Ottawa Senators
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Tempers flared during Ottawa’s 4-3 OT win over Vancouver on Sunday when Chris Neil took a few late swings at Derek Dorsett during their second-period scrap, and don’t see to have cooled off any:

The fight in question:

After the game, Dorsett went off on Neil.

“I’ve talked to many guys around the league and they say [Neil’s] stupid and just proves it tonight,” he said, per Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy. “Guy has been playing in the league over 10 years, has well over a thousand penalty minutes and you’d think he’d have a little bit of class.

“First period he asked me to fight and I tell him no I have a bad hand. He keeps coming after me and coming after me and finally I fight him. Pretty even fight and I fall down and he gets two punches in. The refs in there and it’s just uncalled for. Then he gives it the junior move and starts waving on their fans. It’s just Chris Neil in a nutshell.”

This isn’t the first time Neil’s gotten into a war of words stemming from an on-ice issue. Last season, Neil got into a tussle with Detroit forward Johan Franzen, then fired back after Frazen accused Neil of trying to start scraps when games are essentially over.

“[Franzen] wants to drop his purse, take the lipstick out, put it on his lips and ‘Let’s go,'” Neil said. He also called Franzen “gutless.”

Dorsett upset that while falling ‘stupid’ Neil took ‘uncalled for’ punch

Vancouver Canucks v Ottawa Senators
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Derek Dorsett and Chris Neil traded blows early in the second period of Ottawa’s 4-3 overtime victory against Vancouver. Dorsett wasn’t pleased with Neil’s actions towards the end of the fight as the Senators forward continued to throw punches while Dorsett was falling to the ice.

“I’ve talked to many guys around the league and they say he’s stupid and just proves it tonight,” Dorsett said, per Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy. “Guy has been playing in the league over 10 years, has well over a thousand penalty minutes and you’d think he’d have a little bit of class.

“First period he asked me to fight and I tell him no I have a bad hand. He keeps coming after me and coming after me and finally I fight him. Pretty even fight and I fall down and he gets two punches in. The refs in there and it’s just uncalled for. Then he gives it the junior move and starts waving on their fans it’s just Chris Neil in a nutshell.”

Neil is certainly no stranger to controversy. The 35-year-old with 2,265 penalty minutes in 882 contests got into a war of words with Johan Franzen in February when the Red Wings forward accused Neil of trying to step up when games are essentially over to avoid taking “heat from fans and coaches.” In response to Neil trying to pick a fight with him late in the third period of a 6-1 victory. Neil fired back by saying he’s willing to fight Franzen at any time.

“He wants to drop his purse, take the lipstick out, put it on his lips and ‘Let’s go,'” Neil said. He also called Franzen “gutless.”

As for Sunday’s incident, Neil and Dorsett were both given fighting majors and 10-minute misconducts. You can see what happened below: