Chris Neil Thinks We’re Stupid

His teammates, however, would welcome him back, as long as he showed himself to be sympatico with their goals. They’d embrace him as the good teammate he was before he demanded to be traded in June. They would, however, expect a full explanation.

“I think the big thing is that guys don’t know why,” Chris Neil said Wednesday as he took a break from serving as a guest instructor at an Ottawa Senators Summer Hockey Camp. “Everyone’s in the dark here. I think guys would want an explanation.

“But, if Dany shows up at camp and he’s ready to go, we’d welcome him back.

“He’s an elite player. He’s a guy you want around and on your team, definitely. I’ve talked to a lot of guys and they all say the same thing. Guys in the dressing room are pretty understanding. But you also want guys on your team who want to be with the organization. We’ve got a good thing in Ottawa. We’ve got a great fan base and a great organization. It’ll do anything for you. ~ Allen Panzieri, The Ottawa Citizen

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but why the fuck should I believe a single word that Chris Neil just said?

Okay, so let’s sift through the corporate spiel that’s been spewed and focus on the phrases “Everyone’s in the dark here” and “I think the big thing is that guys don’t know why”. Now are we really supposed to believe that the guys in that dressing room have no idea why Dany Heatley wants out?

Of course not. Not after Jason Spezza came out for an impromptu media scrum following an off-ice work out at SBP and said this in early July:

“I understand (his reasons for wanting out), it’s part of the game and decisions have to be made. I don’t hold it against him at all,” said Spezza. “I just hope that this doesn’t stall our organization. We want to move forward. If he wants to come back, then we’ll accept him back and we’ll be a good team with him, but if he doesn’t want to be here, he has to let us (move) and get some players to replace him.” ~ courtesy of The Hockey News

If Spezza knew of the reasoning over one month ago, how are we supposed to believe that the guys in that locker room are that out of the loop? Is the team chemistry that bad that there’s this level of disconnect between the players wherein a star wants out and nobody does the due diligence to figure out why?

Or is this just a sad attempt by Neil, a man who knows his contract is unpopular, to play up his fan favorite persona and justify his $8M deal by saying he wanted to stay here?