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Senators' Neil on trade rumors: 'I don’t want to sit here and collect a paycheck'

Eric Bolte / USA TODAY Sports

Chris Neil appears torn between wanting to remain with the Ottawa Senators and making a meaningful contribution on the ice.

Seemingly in high demand as the NHL's trade deadline approaches - with the Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks believed to be among the interested teams - Neil has seen his ice time diminish in recent weeks, causing him to soften his stance in regards to possibly moving on.

"I’ve got a lot of respect for (general manger) Bryan Murray and for what he has done here, Neil told Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen. "I indicated to (Murray) that this is where I want to be. But I want to be a part of it, too. I don’t just want to sit here and collect a paycheque."

Neil saw a season-low 5:33 of ice time against the New Jersey Devils on Feb. 3, but feels like he has plenty of gas left in the tank, even at age 35 and after years of heavy hockey as a Senator.

Due to the nature of his contract, Neil can submit a list of 15 teams to whom he doesn't want to be traded, leaving the situation only partially out of his hands.

"I haven’t indicated that I want out of here or anything," he reiterated. "I’ve taken less money (than was offered elsewhere) to stay here in previous contracts. It shows the loyalty I have to this organization. I’ve bled a lot and went a lot of miles with this team and I’ve got a lot left."

Ottawa plays host to the Washington Capitals on Thursday.

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