Chris Neil confident he'll play in NHL next season: 'Not stressed at all'
Fast forward to this summer, and not only have Neil and the Senators parted ways, but the 16-year veteran is still without a job. It's a fact, however, that isn't bothering Neil in the slightest.
"I'm confident, because of the chats we've had with teams," Neil said Thursday, according to Don Brennan of Postmedia. "You look at the free-agent players that are out there now, there's a lot of veteran players that are good reliable players, and I'm one of those guys. You can't read too much into it. It's no different than any other year.
"I'm just kind of sitting back and enjoying the summer, and spending time with my family."
Neil is coming off the worst offensive campaign of his career, registering just one goal and three assists across 53 regular-season games last season while playing a diminished role for the Senators - he averaged only 7:34 of ice time.
Despite the lackluster performance and not having a professional contract signed for next season, Neil is seemingly at peace with his current position.
"Everyone's asking, 'Are you stressed?' I'm not stressed at all," he said. "Like I've always said, God has a way for me, and he'll lead me in the right direction."
Neil's truculence (2522 career penalty minutes) and playoff experience (95 career postseason games) could have some teams in need of veteran leadership sniffing around with one-year offers.