Senators Player Profile: Chris Phillips

This is the fourteenth in a series of profiles on each player for the Ottawa Senators.

Chris Phillips, D, Contract: 3.083,333/14 (UFA)
1-1/96 (Gauthier), 6’3, Shoots L, YOB 1978, Calgary, Alb
2008-09 82-6-16-22 -14 66pim TOI 21:52 BkS 114 Hits 113
2009-10 82-8-16-24 +8 45pim (1 fight) TOI 22:20 BkS 142 Hits 97
2010-11 82-1-8-9 -35 32pim TOI 21:31 BkS 152 Hits 116

The last player selected first overall by the Ottawa Senators, Chris Phillips signed a new 3-year deal (http://senators.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=554491) amidst a terrible season and rumours that he would be dealt (espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/5074/ weekend-wrap-trade-rumors-including-brad-richards-and-chris-phillips).  While it was a difficult year for the entire team, Phillips was one of the few who failed to improve late in the season.  He led the league in the minus category, making some question his reputation as a top-end, shutdown defenseman (www.silversevensens.com/2011/2/1/ 1961221/chris-phillips-our-defensive-weak-link-a-statistical-analysis).

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 have no issue with his re-signing.  There’s no questioning his work ethic or desire, even if that doesn’t always translate into on-ice success.  I don’t like the length of his contract, but in the grand scheme of things for a rebuilding team, Ottawa can afford to give a veteran this kind of deal.  The Senators are unlikely to be in a position to challenge for the Cup over the next three years, so having Phillips doesn’t really impact the ultimate organizational goal.  I don’t think he can have a year as bad as this past season, but I’m not sure how much to expect.  He’ll likely return to his usual 20 points with 6-8 goals, but otherwise it’s hard to predict.  Barring injury, we’ve seen the last of him on the powerplay at least.

Phillips getting drafted: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XovbE04FW54
Arguably the biggest goal of his career: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Xg8VuNzPOo
Throwing a hit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YxFAknHED4

Next up is Chris Neil.