OTTAWA, ON – DECEMBER 16: Chris Neil #25 of the Ottawa Senators and Barret Jackman #5 of the St. Louis Blues fight during the third period at the Canadian Tire Centre on December 16, 2013 in Ottawa, Canada. The Senators defeated the Blues 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

(SP) – United Airlines announced plans today to place a former NHL goon on every domestic flight to help manage its passengers. Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil confirmed he will retire from hockey following the playoffs and take a job as a United flight enforcer.

“I think what we saw in the incident in Chicago in which a passenger had to be removed is that our flight attendants are not equipped to punch and drag a man efficiently and effectively,” said United CEO Oscar Munoz. “That’s on us and and we apologize. However, with our new On-Flight Hockey Enforcer program, we will be able to handle any situations where it becomes necessary to fight.”

Munoz said pilots and flight attendants are “easily compared to the high-scoring guys on a hockey team who win you games. But sometimes you need someone who is willing to make his fists bleed to send a message. That’s what we’ve been lacking on our flights and that’s why we had to call in the police to remove that passenger. But now we will take care of it on our own.”

In addition to Neil, United has hired Shawn Thornton, Colton Orr and Tom Sestito, with more current and former goons on the way.

“This is exciting news,” said Orr. “The NHL is increasingly pushing guys like us out just because we’re not very good at hockey. I’m glad United is giving us a chance to further our careers. It’s going to so fun to elbow someone in the head while they’re just walking down the aisle.”

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the news is great for the growth of hockey: “People who aren’t even fans of hockey will now be able to get up-close and personal with players in markets that don’t even have the game. That’s a win for the sport.”


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