The 10-minute pre-practice discussion between Ottawa Senators defenceman Chris Phillips and general manager Bryan Murray was the most intriguing development at Scotiabank Place Wednesday morning, but Phillips insists there’s nothing new in advance of Monday’s trade deadline.
Phillips says he wants to stay in Ottawa to be part of the club’s rebuilding plan, but he’s also hoping to secure a contract extension in advance of the trade deadline. If he doesn’t receive any guarantees about his future before then, he will have to decide whether to waive his no trade clause.
“I talked to Bryan (Murray) at the bench,” Phillips said. “We were just basically hanging out and we talked about a couple of things. He talked to my agent, but really, there’s nothing new that wasn’t different from before we talked.”
Phillips has heard his name in trade talks at various points throughout his career, but he says the biggest difference this time around is that he owns the clause, in control of dictating whether he stays or goes.
“Now, being more involved with having to make decisions that effect the outcome is the biggest difference,” he said. “Ultimately, I am (in control), when it comes right down to it, but it has been pretty open commnication with Bryan. It’s not like we’re having a standoff and see who blinks first. We’re talking about it. Between us and them, it is a collective decision, but I guess I have the final say.”
Phillips acknowledges it has been a difficult few weeks as he weighs all the possible end games.
“There are a lot of things involved. You go home and talk to your family about different options and scenarios.”
The defenceman also said that even if he doesn’t get a contract extension before Monday, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to be traded.
“I don’t know what those options are going to be yet,” he said. “There are so many different scenarios, but that’s one of them, where I play out the rest of the year here with the contract that I have.”