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Rumors of Chris Phillips to Montreal are Premature…for now

Posted By Corey Krakower On Feb 22 2011 @ 12:07 pm In Montreal Canadiens | No Comments

There has been lots of talk about Chris Phillips’ future with the Ottawa Senators. Amidst a fire sale by GM Bryan Murray, Chris Phillips, a 32-year-old veteran who is in his 13th season with the Sens, has expressed interest in being part of the pending rebuild in Ottawa. He loves the city and does not want to leave. If only it was entirely his choice.

It is obvious that Chris Phillips is no longer the impact player he once was. This season in particular has been one to forget for Phillips; who has 0 goals, only 4 assists and is a -26 in 59 games. Regardless, with the premium teams pay for proven defensemen, there has been no shortage of decent trade offers presented to the Senators. Phillips does have a no trade clause and therefore he will be the one who ultimately decides where he will finish the season.

Sources very close to the situation have told ProSportsBlogging that the Ottawa Senators are open to re-signing Chris Phillips, but they will need to clear cap space first. The Sens won’t make a decision on Phillips until they can see if they can move defenseman Filip Kuba. Kuba is under contract for next season at a cap hit of $3.7 million, and if he can somehow be moved, there is no way in the world Chris Phillips gets traded. ProSportsBlogging was also told that if Chris Phillips ends up being dealt, that the Montreal Canadiens are probably the only team he would go to at this point.

This makes sense on many levels. The Habs are still looking for a defenseman, even though adding a top 6 forward is their priority at the moment; and Chris Phillips lives close enough to Montreal and even owns a home in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec that it limits the concerns of being away from his family.

The ball is in Ottawa’s court right now. They are actively shopping Kuba but it remains to be seen if they can get a deal done. If they can’t; they can either re-sign the one they call Big Rig and deal with their cap/budget concerns in the offseason, or they can trade Phillips to the Montreal Canadiens.

Not even Chris Phillips knows how this will play out. The only thing that is certain is that this will be resolved by Monday’s NHL Trade Deadline.

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