Ottawa Senators Greatest Players: Number – 9 Chris Phillips

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 26: Chris Phillips
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 26: Chris Phillips /

Today at number nine all-time, we look at another fan favourite of the Ottawa Senators. A player who helped define the great teams of the mid-2000s. One of very few players to play the entirety of their career in Ottawa. The all-time games played leader for the Sens, Chris Phillips.

The Ottawa Senators struggled with drafting early on in their history. In their first five seasons they drafted first overall three times, drafted second once, and drafted third once. In that time they picked Alexei Yashin, Alexandre Daigle, Radek Bonk, Bryan Berard, and Chris Phillips. The only player that became a star was Yashin and he brought problems to the team off the ice. The other three besides Phillips were either complete busts or severely under-performed on their expectations. Phillips, although not a superstar, developed into the perfect stay at home defenceman for the Ottawa Senators.

Early Career

Drafted first overall in 1996, Phillips was not the type of player you necessarily want out of a first overall pick. He wasn’t even remotely an offensive player, nor was he game breaking. However, he developed into the exact player he was supposed to be. It’s possible he shouldn’t have been picked first overall but that isn’t the fault of Phillips. He did everything he was supposed to do and more.

Legacy and Longevity

Many players who have spent the majority of their careers in Ottawa have left near the end of their career. Alfredsson, Redden, and Spezza all left after spending the majority of their career in the nation’s capital. Even Neil may choose to continue his career elsewhere should he be offered a contract. However, Phillips never left, he stuck with the Sens through thick and thin. He retired as the all-time games played leader at 1179.

Next: Ottawa Senators Greatest Players: Number – 10 Mike Fisher

Although the typical stay at home defenceman does not fit in as well to today’s game, it was an important part of any team in the 90s and 2000s. Having Phillips allowed the superstar players on the team to play to their potential. Phillips is one of the faces of the Ottawa Senators and will forever be one of their greats.