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Phillips willing to assume greater role

Friday, 07.28.2006 / 12:00 AM ET / News
Ottawa Senators
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Phillips willing to assume greater role
Phillips is willing to take more responsibility in keeping the NHL's top talents, like Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier, in check.

by Todd Anderson

Last season Senators defenceman Chris Phillips was teamed up with Zdeno Chara - who's now with the Boston Bruins - as the Senators top shutdown duo on the blueline. With Chara gone, Phillips is willing to take more responsibility in keeping the NHL's top talents in check.

"I'll have to find a new partner to help do that. (Chara) played lots of minutes but I'm looking at maybe taking up some of those minutes and playing a bigger role."

Two potential partners are newly acquired defencemen Joe Corvo and Tom Preissing. Phillips admits he knows little about either player -- they both played in the Western Conference last season -- but another newcomer is quite familiar.

"(Goaltender) Martin Gerber had a great season with Carolina," Phillips said of the Stanley Cup champion. "I hope he can help get us to the same place he was last season."

As the third longest-serving Senator behind Daniel Alfredsson and Wade Redden, Phillips is ready to take more of a leadership role in 2006-07.

"You have to," he says. "As the years go on you get more experience and you sort of naturally take (the leadership role) on. You have to be prepared to do more on and off the ice."

Heavily involved in giving back, Phillips' dedication to charity continues throughout the off-season.

During a trip back home to Western Canada this summer, Phillips participated in his annual charity golf tournament in Fort McMurray, Alta., to benefit Kids Forever, and provide financial assistance for families in need.

Phillips also spent a few days in Las Vegas to attend a concert organized by the Garth Brooks Foundation. He was able to visit with Brooks and fellow country singer Trisha Yearwood. The concert was a ‘thank you' to the athletes who made donations towards a fundraiser for needy children around the world.

"This fundraiser started about four or five years ago and what we donate is tripled by investors," Phillips said. "We donate money for every goal and assist we record. It's nice to help give back. With my hometown (golf tournament) I never get to see the cheque presentation because it's in November (during the NHL season), but they bring 10 or 11 kids on stage and I guess it's a pretty heartfelt night. That makes it all worthwhile."

While hockey is Phillips' main claim to fame, he's starting to become a talented carpenter as well. Last year he finished the basement of his Ottawa home and he's looking forward to building a bar to compliment the space.

During the summer months, Phillips and his family spend a lot of time at their cottage located at Mont Tremblant.

"I also have been able to play a few rounds of golf, and I enjoy being out on the boat or just being outside with the family," Phillips said. "We like camping and things like that."




1 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
2 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
3 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
4 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
5 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
6 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
7 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
8 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


E. Karlsson 82 21 45 7 66
M. Stone 80 26 38 21 64
K. Turris 82 24 40 5 64
B. Ryan 78 18 36 5 54
M. Hoffman 79 27 21 16 48
M. Zibanejad 80 20 26 0 46
C. MacArthur 62 16 20 -6 36
M. Michalek 66 13 21 3 34
D. Legwand 80 9 18 1 27
A. Chiasson 76 11 15 -5 26
C. Anderson 14 13 8 .923 2.49
R. Lehner 9 12 3 .905 3.02