If Chris Neil had his druthers, he wouldn't be leaving the Ottawa Senators after 16 years.

But the soon-to-be 38-year-old winger's belief that he can still contribute full-time in the National Hockey League isn't shared by Senators head coach Guy Boucher, Neil says.

"I have a lot of respect for [assistant general manager] Randy [Lee] and [GM] Pierre [Dorion] … I think, if it was up to them, I'd be back," Neil told The Ottawa Citizen's Don Brennan. "But they kind of put it in the coach's hands and that had a lot to do with it. For whatever reason, Guy never really gave me the chance to show I can play. Even before I got hurt, I was a healthy scratch for a couple of games and I saw the writing on the wall. I feel I've got stuff left to do. I feel I can still play and contribute."

Neil appeared in only 53 games this season for the Sens, averaging 7:34 minutes a night. He scored once and added three assists. Neil dressed for two of the Sens' 19 playoff games.

The team's franchise leader in penalty minutes (2,522), Neil tallied 112 goals and 138 assists in 1,026 regular season games over 15 seasons. He made 95 playoff appearances, including a trip to the 2007 Stanley Cup Final.

Neil remains primed for another NHL season.

"There will be a lot of uncertainty over the next couple of weeks… It is what it is," he told Brennan. "I'm going to stay ready like I'm going to play."