Neil finally gets to play

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:41 AM ET

Chris Neil has found a new hockey home, at least for now.

The Senators tough guy finally suited up yesterday for the Senior 'A' Durham Thundercats in a 5-4 win over Mildmay Monarchs, but Neil's not sure he was even supposed to play.

"It was just nice to get out there and play in a competitive game," said Neil, who was en route to Ottawa when reached last night. "I have to get five games in to play in the playoffs and Durham felt it was worth the risk.

"I guess the league took a vote and they didn't want me to play. I signed a card and Durham will find out (today) what happens next."

Neil has been practising with the Thundercats near his home in Flesherton during the NHL lockout.

Neil had intended to play for Durham on Friday, but league directors blocked him.

Neil, who played 25 minutes yesterday and picked up an assist, said nobody challenged him to a fight.

"I'm out there trying to work on my skills and play in competitive situations. It was nice to be on the ice that much. It was different because I haven't played with any contact in a long time," said Neil.


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