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Neil gets 3-year extension with Ottawa

Thursday, 07.12.2012 / 9:44 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  / NHL Free Agency 2012 blog


The Ottawa Senators announced Thursday the club had signed forward Chris Neil to a three-year contract extension.

Financial terms of the deal were not released, but the Ottawa Sun reported the contract is worth $5.75 million, broken down as follows: $2 million in 2013-14, $2 million in 2014-15, and $1.75 million in 2015-16.

Neil will make $2 million next season on his existing contract. He would have become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2013.

"This is where I was drafted. This is where I want to be," Neil told the team's website.

"To finally get something done -- we've been talking for a little bit now -- it's a great feeling. It worked out for both sides, the team and myself, and I'm really excited about it. I like the direction the team is going and I want to be a part of it."

Neil, 33, had 13 goals, 15 assists and 178 penalty minutes for the Senators in 2011-12.

In 731 NHL games, all with Ottawa, he has 90 goals, 100 assists and 1,861 PIM.

"To be a part of an organization and to be a part of it for your whole career ... there's something to be said about that," Neil said. "There's loyalty from the player and the team. Ottawa has been unbelievable to me. They gave me an opportunity to play (in the NHL) and I try to go out and play as hard as a I can, game in and game out, and try to do my best to help the team win. That's what they appreciate about me and I look forward to doing more of the same."

The Senators announced Tuesday that defenseman Tyler Eckford has signed a two-year, two-way contract.

Eckford, 26, spent last season with the Portland Pirates in the American Hockey League.

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery