TORONTO -- Chris Neil has opted for the farm life.
The Senators tough guy has signed a contract with the club's AHL affiliate in Binghamton for the rest of the season. He'll report today and could be in the lineup tonight against the Norfolk Admirals.
While the move might seem strange in the middle of an NHL lockout, Neil said last night from his Flesherton home that he initiated the discussions with Ottawa GM John Muckler once the season was officially cancelled.
"I don't see anything wrong with it and I don't think the (NHLPA) should either," said Neil. "This is no different than guys going to play in Europe and you've already got guys in Binghamton who are members of the union. I just want to get back to playing."
Neil's agent Todd Reynolds said he didn't feel he needed to get clearance from the union.
"Other players have done it," said Reynolds from his Toronto office. "Chris just wants to play. That's the bottom line in all of this. He wants to get into the lineup and back on the ice.
GOT UNION'S OK
"He feels he's going to be able to help that team and he needs to get busy again."
It should be noted Senators defenceman Brian Pothier and winger Josh Langfeld are also on one-way contracts and playing in Binghamton. They were given the green light by the union to sign with the Baby Sens before the season.