As per Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun on Twitter, Chris Phillips stated today that “he wants to stay and help the rebuild.” If this is indeed the case, it raises a whole bunch of issues.
The pending UFA is obvoiusly in the last year of his contract and holds all the cards with his no-trade clause. If he doesn’t want to go anywhere, he doesn’t have to this season. That being said, how serious is he about staying? What will he ask for as a free agent, given that he is making $3.5 million this year. You would have to think that he would want to at least match that value. Is Ottawa willing to go that far, considering he could be off the books for next year?
Or would Phillips be willing to take a significant home-town discount to remain with the Senators? This is the only organization he has known, and he has set roots down and family in the area.
The other issue is that if he is set on staying in the Senators’ plans for the future, would it not be most beneficial to him and the club to endure a couple of months in another organization, have a good playoff run, and then resign with Ottawa in the off season? He could open himself up for a trade to anywhere, and the Senators could get max value for him.
So the questions abound around the Big Rig:
What value would Phillips have on a long-term contract to stay in Ottawa? Is he worth $3.5 million going forward or does he need to take a discount to $2 or $2.5 million to be in the 3-4 pairing?
Would you harbor any ill will to Phillips for not waiving his NTC and then signing elsewhere in July? Would this affect his reputation here in Ottawa?
Is there any way that Murray can convince him to waive the NTC, even if he doesn’t want to?
I want to hear from you….
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