By Fred Wallace
Hi this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire " brought to you by your local Auto Logic- the Logical Choice.
I was once at a function in Flesherton where Chris Neil was the guest of honor.
It was documented that day that Neil had faced a number of obstacles and naysayers in his hockey career long before he was of age to vote;
- He was too young to play Junior C in the eyes of the Mount Forest Patriots.
- He wasn't skilled enough to play Junior B for the Owen Sound Greys
- and he lacked the essentials to be considered for selection by the Owen Sound Platers of the Ontario Hockey League.
Checking the 1996 OHL Priority Selection, the Platers took Wes Goldie, Adam Campbell, Sean Avery, Scott Wray, Kyle Flaxey, Kyle Dafoe, Curtis Sanford, Jamie Piercey and Pascal Daze....before North Bay took Flesherton native Chris Neil 121st overall......
Twenty years later, Chris Neil is inching in on 1,000 career NHL games.
Even more remarkable, those games have been played with one franchise- the Ottawa Senators- an almost unheard of feat in this day and age of pro sports.
And those who deemed him unfit for whatever reason 2 decades ago should also note that as he approaches 1,000 games, he's also within striking distance of scoring the most goals by a player from our broadcast region.
I'm Fred Wallace