Remember last off-season when we, as loyal and trusting Ottawa Senators fans were discussing about the inevitable Anton Volchenkov contract extension? It seemed like a sure thing back then. Now, Volchenkov is a member of the New Jersey Trappers Devils, and even though Bryan Murray did improve his D-Corps by signing Ruskie Sergei Gonchar, the physicality of the Senators will never be the same.
Zoom back to the present, where Chris Phillips, the next Captain after El Capitano Daniel Alfredsson retires, and leader of the defensemen, is set to become an Unrestricted Free Agent on July 1st, 2011. Then native of Fort McMurray, Alberta is third on the most paid defensemen on the Sens, behind to Gonchar and Filip Kuba. Now, I know Chris is a better player than Anton Volchenkov, yet is more likely to take a hometown discount than Volchie ever did, I still believe Bryan Murray needs to sign this guy to pen and paper before the 2010-2011 season starts, just as he did with now villain Dany Douchebag Heatley.
Phillips had skills not known to man kind. Calm, smooth, smart on the ice, and a leader by example and in the locker room. Erik Karlsson even contributed his success in the latter part of the regular season to the steadiness of mentor Chris Phillips. But how should a contract be made? For me, 4 years should be the minimum and the maximum. He’s needed on the back six, and still has playing time left in him for another decade. He’s making $3.5 million right now, and a raise is coming, although not as much as Volchenkov got. Take me in around $4.3 million. It’s a good investment for the present and the future.
Sens Chirp has reported that the Ottawa Senators have shown interest in both Paul Kariya and Eric Belanger. Both would be perfect fits in the Top Nine, and maybe even Top Six. I’d love to have Kariya, but if he doesn’t stay in the West, I would be shocked. In another note, I have been told Shean Donovan will be signing with a team in the Western Conferencei nthe next couple of days, possibly with the San Jose Sharks.
Topics: Bryan Murray, Chris Phillips, Daniel Alfredsson, David Rundblad, Eric Belanger, Erik Karlsson, Filip Kuba, Fort McMurray, Ottawa Senators 2010-2011, Ottawa Senators Off-Season 2011, Paul Kariya, Sergei Gonchar, The Writer's Block