Chris Phillips has had a long and storied career in Ottawa but the time has come to an end. The reasons are simple, he no longer is good enough for his role and the organization is plain and simply flush at his position. The actual explanation is obvious when looking at the Current Senators.
1. Chris Phillips had been a 3rd pairing defenceman since Paul Maclean has been coach when the roster has been healthy.
Two and half years ago the 1/2 LD were Kuba/Cowen with Phillips a clear third. He may have occasionally been shuffled up and down but the placement was extremely consistent. Last years injuries made it less obvious but eventually Methot/PW pushed him back into a smaller role. This year he is kept in a sheltered role with Ceci despite the terrible play of Cowen at times. Maclean clearly prefers Phillips in a sheltered role at 5 on 5 and has made it clear where he wants him for a while now. The coach clearly does not have the same faith as some of the fans do and frankly I believe organization has the same feeling going forward.
2. His replacements are all here and it really becomes unavoidable going forward.
Dean Brown was on Team1200 yesterday and had a great point, the team refuses to offer a multi-year deal to Chris because he does not fit their plan and that it is obvious to everyone in the media who follows the team. Since the great trade-off of 2011, the clear direction of this franchise had been to go younger internally and to acquire relatively young assets to fill specific possessions from the market. Phillips falls into neither category.
PW, Cowen, Borowiecki, Claesson are either already in the NHL or will be within in two years and the spot they are supposed to play for is Left Defence. Methot is not going anywhere, the team cannot afford to let one of its only two in their prime NHL defenceman go. The two contracts given to Cowen and PW this summer clearly assume they can fill at least the 2nd line role going forward which again leaves Phillips on the 3rd pair.
Phillips has value on the open market, let us take it because the team had made it abundantly clear they do not plan on him for the future.
Still....I will remember:
Chris Phillips scores in OT to win game 6 in New Jersey (via SirZapdos)
Chris Phillips scores 2 in 1000th game 2/9/12 (via NHL)
Phillips OT goal v. Toronto (via mozzamorrissey)