Several National Hockey League veterans were left without contracts this season; Jarome Iginla, Brian Gionta and James Wisniewski are names that come to mind, because they weren't given the chance to show off to a team and make the final cut.
However, a veteran of 1026 games in the NHL WAS given a chance. Chris Neil, former forward of the Ottawa Senators, was presented a professional tryout offer by the Montreal Canadiens in September. He did not accept it.
Neil explained to Andrew Zadarnowski that he believed the Habs knew what he was able to do. The 38-year-old veteran did not want to have to compete with young players, and refused the PTO.
Looking at the Canadiens' roster now, it is easy to see where Neil would have fit in. The Habs traded for Nicolas Deslauriers in early October, and the gritty forward has amassed a goal and four points in 12 games with Montreal.
Neil could have landed in his spot, and continued his NHL career. For now, the veteran is still without a contract and may be on his way to retirement...
And who is to blame for it?