Chris Phillips, D, Contract: 3.083,333/14 (UFA) 1-1/96 (Gauthier)
6’3, Shoots L, YOB 1978, Calgary, Alb
2008-09 NHL Ottawa 82-6-16-22 (ppg 0.27) -14 66pim TOI 21:52
2009-10 NHL Ottawa 82-8-16-24 (ppg 0.29) +8 45pim (1 fight) TOI 22:20
2010-11 NHL Ottawa 82-1-8-9 (ppg 0.11) -35 32pim TOI 21:31
2011-12 NHL Ottawa 80-5-14-19 (ppg 0.24) +12 16pim TOI 19:06
The last player selected first overall by the Ottawa Senators, Chris Phillips signed a new 3-year deal amidst a terrible season (10-11) and rumours that he would be dealt. While it was a difficult year for the entire team, Phillips was one of the few who failed to improve along with the rest of the team late in the season. He led the league in the minus category, making some question his reputation as a top-end, shutdown defenseman.
The previous season, Phillips put up typical numbers (82-8-16-24) and was tied with Alfredsson for second in plus/minus (behind Peter Regin‘s +10). He was also second in ice time behind Filip Kuba and second in blocked shots behind Anton Volchenkov. So despite Phillips struggles I only took issue with the term of his re-signing. There’s no questioning his work ethic or desire, even if that doesn’t always translate into on-ice success.
As I predicted he largely returned to form this past season (my guess was 20 points), seeing an appropriate drop in ice time under Paul MacLean’s regime. There’s nothing remarkable in Phillips‘ game; he’s big, but not physical, he has decent hands, but can’t contribute regularly. A useful player, I expect his usual production (20 points if he plays the entire season) in the upcoming season.