Chris Neil signs 1-year contract extension with Senators
Club's all-time penalty minutes leader was eligible for free agency
Forward Chris Neil and the Ottawa Senators agreed to a one-year contract extension worth $1.5 million US, the team announced on Saturday night.
"Chris has long been someone who exemplifies strong work ethic and character while striving to be a leader and a good example for our young players," said Senators general manager Bryan Murray. "On the ice, he's played quality minutes for us this season and continues to play an important role on our team.
"I'm additionally glad to see him return in light of what could be a significant milestone for him next season and something that would only be fitting to see him achieve in a Senators uniform."
The 36-year-old Neil is in his 14th NHL season and is one of only three players (Erik Karlsson, Jean-Gabriel Pageau) to have appeared in each of Ottawa's 62 games this season. He has three goals, seven assists and a team-leading 122 penalty minutes this year.
Neil is the Senators franchise leader in penalty minutes in both the regular season (2,416) and in the post-season (192).
His 243 points (109 goals, 134 assists) see him rank 12th on the club's all-time points list, while he recently became only the third player (Daniel Alfredsson, Chris Phillips) to play in a 950th game for the club when he reached the mark on Feb. 13 in Columbus.
Neil was Ottawa's sixth-round pick, 161st overall, in the 1998 NHL draft.