Neil wants to remain a Sen

Chris Neil says he wants to remain with the Senators, but without a new contract he is likely to be...

Chris Neil says he wants to remain with the Senators, but without a new contract he is likely to be moved before the trade deadline. (SUN MEDIA file photo)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 1:44 PM ET

Senators winger Chris Neil says he wants to stay put.

While he's not fully recovered from a lacerated calf he suffered earlier this month against the Buffalo Sabres, Neil has resumed skating.

Neil, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, said after practice that he is hopeful a deal will get done before the trade deadline to keep him in Ottawa.

"There's not much I can do about it. If it was closer to July 1 I'd have more say in it," said Neil this morning. "If I do get moved it will be to a team in the playoffs and it would be to a team that could go deep in the playoffs.

"But, if I'm able to stay here, my heart is in Ottawa. That's where I want to be."

Previous reports have indicated that there is still a significant gap between what Neil and his agent are asking, and what the Sens are offering, in a potential new contract. Neil is making $1.25 million this season, but some league sources have said he could be worth up to $2 million a season on the open market.

In other developments today, Neil said he will not play before the March 4 trade deadline.

Defenceman Chris Phillips has the flu and didn't skate today, but he should be fine to suit up against the Sharks tomorrow night at Scotiabank Place.


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