The modern-day Ottawa Senators franchise has played more games with Chris Phillips patrolling the blue line than they have without him. Few statistics can better explain how much the
1998 1996 first-overall pick has meant to the organization. There have been good times and bad with Phillips, but no one can question his contributions to the team and the community. It was fitting, then, to watch him honoured with an impressive pre-game ceremony in advance of the team's game against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday afternoon. For those of you who missed the broadcast, Sens TV recorded it, and the videos are presented below.
First off, the presentation of a painting, a watch, a puck, and a stick to Phillips from his boss, his teammates, and the NHL, along with a speech of gratitude from Phillips himself, and the ceremonial face-off.
In advance of that ceremony were a series of messages of congratulations. The first--which can't be embedded, but is available here--is from former teammates from around the league, including Marian Hossa, Mike Fisher, Anton Volchenkov, Wade Redden, um, Zdeno Chara, um, Martin Havlat, and Chris Kelly.
Former teammates also took a moment to congratulate him, including Jason Smith, Luke Richardson, Shaun Van Allen, Todd White, Jason York, Shane Hnidy, Lance Pitlick (who is apparently hilarious and incredibly well-spoken), Randy Cunneyworth, Patrick Lalime, and... okay, I'm drawing a blank for that last guy. Any ideas?
His current teammates also offered their congratulations. Zenon Konopka remains hilarious, mentioning a fight he once had with Phillips, Kaspars Daugavins is the master of weird awkward jokes, and Jerry "Seinfeld" Cowen asks, "What's the deal with how old you are?"
Also, here's an interview with Tony Harris, the artist who made the painting that Phillips was presented:
And finally, a "1,000 games of loyalty & commitment" mural that was unveiled inside the 100-level entrance to the arena:
Heck of a career for the guy.