Chris Phillips, Senators strike 2-year deal
Defenceman has played 1,125 games for Ottawa
Chris Phillips will continue to play for the NHL team that drafted him first overall in 1996.
The 35-year-old defenceman and the Ottawa Senators came to an agreement on a two-year contract extension reportedly worth $2.5 million US per season on Wednesday, a few hours before the NHL’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline.
Phillips has played 1,125 regular-season games for Ottawa and has 13 points in 52 games this season.
"I think we have good things that are going to happen here and I want to be a part of that," Phillips told the Senators' official website from Calgary, where Ottawa plays Wednesday night. "I was very happy and relieved at the same time to get something done."
There were rumblings Senators general manager Bryan Murray might look to deal Phillips, who was said to have wanted more than a one-year contract.
Boston and Detroit reportedly had interest in Phillips, who has a salary cap hit of $3.083 million this season.
"I want to keep contributing and play the game," Phillips said. "It's not something that I've got two years and now I can sit back. I want to keep pushing forward. At the end of this deal, maybe we'll go through all this again."
On Wednesday, Ottawa lost winger Cory Conacher off waivers when he was claimed by the Buffalo Sabres. The Senators had acquired Conacher from the Tampa Bay Lightning at last year's deadline in exchange for goaltender Ben Bishop, who will likely be a Vezina Trophy candidate this season.
In another move signalling Murray's hopes of making the playoffs this year, Ottawa acquired 30-year-old winger Ales Hemsky from the Edmonton Oilers for a third- and a fifth-round pick.
Phillips, who serves as one of the Senators' alternate captains, saw that as a positive message to the dressing room.
"It feels great that [management believes] because the guys in the room still do, and when you have the support of them as well, it brings a little bit of extra life that's maybe needed right now for that push," Phillips said. "That's our goal right now."
With files from The Canadian Press