Phillips with the Ottawa Senators in 2013
March 9, 1978|
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Weight||215 lb (98 kg; 15 st 5 lb)|
1st overall, 1996|
Chris Phillips (born March 9, 1978) is a Canadian businessman and former professional ice hockey player. Phillips was a member of the Ottawa Senators for his entire career, which began with the 1997-98 season and ended with the 2015-16 season. He was regarded as a stay-at-home defenceman. The Senators drafted him first overall in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft. Phillips retired in 2016 after spending a season on the injured list. Phillips played 1,179 games with Ottawa in the regular season making him the longest serving player in Senators franchise history. In addition, he played in 114 playoff games.
Phillips was raised in Fort McMurray, Alberta. He began his junior career with the Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League in 1993-94, where he had six goals and 22 points in 56 games. In 10 playoff games, Phillips had three assists. He returned to the Oil Barons for the 1994-95 season, in which he saw his offensive production increase to 16 goals and 48 points in 48 games. In 11 post-season games, Phillips had four goals and six points. Phillips also participated in the 1995 Canada Winter Games where he was the captain of the Alberta team.
Phillips joined the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL for the 1995-96 season, where he registered 10 goals and 30 assists in 61 games as a rookie with the Raiders. Phillips helped the Raiders to the Conference Finals, with 2 goals and 12 assists in 18 games. After the season, Phillips won the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy and was drafted first overall in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft by the Ottawa Senators.
The Senators reassigned Phillips to the Raiders for the 1996-97. In 32 games back in PA, he tallied three goals and 26 points. Prince Albert traded Phillips to the Lethbridge Hurricanes midway through the season.
Phillips finished the 1996-97 season with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, where he had four goals and 22 points in 26 games, helping the club finish in first place in the Central Division.
In the playoffs, Phillips finished second in team scoring with 25 points, with four goals and 21 assists, to help Lethbridge win the President's Cup, and earn a berth at the 1997 Memorial Cup held in Hull, Quebec.
Phillips made his NHL debut in the 1997-98 season, when he appeared in 72 games with the Ottawa Senators, scoring five goals and 16 points, helping the club finish above .500 for the first time in team history. In 11 playoff games, Phillips had two assists, as Ottawa upset the New Jersey Devils in the first round, before falling to the Washington Capitals in the second round of the 1998 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Phillips had another solid season with the club in 2000-01, appearing in 73 games, scoring two goals and 14 points, however, he suffered a late-season injury, in which he appeared in only one playoff game with the Senators. In that game, he scored his first ever playoff goal against Curtis Joseph of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
In 2002-03, Phillips helped the Senators win the Presidents' Trophy, which is awarded to the team with the best regular season record in the NHL. In 78 games, Phillips had three goals and 19 points. In the post-season, Phillips had a memorable goal for the Senators, as in game six of the Eastern Conference finals against the New Jersey Devils, Phillips scored the overtime winner, as Ottawa fought off elimination. The Senators lost the seventh game, but Phillips had a very successful playoff run, scoring two goals and six points in 18 games.
Phillips appeared in all 82 games for the first time of his career in 2003-04, as he scored seven goals and 23 points for the Senators. In the playoffs, Phillips once again had some overtime magic, as he scored the winning goal in the fourth game of the Senators first round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto ended up winning the series in seven games, and that goal was Phillips only point of the series.
In 2005-06, he returned to the Senators, where Phillips had a goal and 19 points in 68 games. On December 26, 2005, Phillips played in his 500th career game. In nine playoff games, Phillips had two goals.
Phillips had his best offensive season of his career in 2006-07, as he had eight goals and 26 points as he played in all 82 games. Phillips had a +36 rating, which ranked him among the top of the NHL leaderboard. Prior to the season, the Senators named Phillips as an alternate captain. In the playoffs, Phillips played over 23 minutes a game, shutting down the top offensive players of the Senators opponents, as he helped the team reach the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals, where the Senators lost in five games to the Anaheim Ducks. In 20 playoff games, Phillips had no points. In the deciding Game 5 of the Finals, Phillips ended up scoring what turned out to be the game-winning goal into his own net.
In 2007-08, Phillips had five goals and 18 points in 81 games, however, the Senators playoff run was short, as they were swept in the first round against the Pittsburgh Penguins, as Phillips was held pointless in four games.
The 2008-09 season saw the Senators struggle, as the team failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 1996. Phillips had another solid season, scoring six goals and 22 points in 82 games, however, he had a -14 rating, making it the first time since the 1998-99 season that Phillips was a minus player.
In 2009-10, the Senators returned to the playoffs, and Phillips played a key role, as he tied his career high of eight goals and had 24 points, the second highest point total of his career, and he played in all 82 games for the second season in a row. In six playoff games, Phillips had no points.
Phillips had a poor 2010-11 season, as he scored only a goal and nine points, his lowest point total since 1998-99, and had a -35 rating, as Ottawa struggled and failed to qualify for the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.
Phillips went on to have a much better season in 2011-12 with the Senators. He finished the season with 5 goals and 19 points with a plus-minus of +12 during 80 games played. His elevated play helped the Senator's back into the Stanley Cup playoffs, though they lost in 7 games to the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference quarter finals.
During the 2012-13 NHL lockout, Phillips acted as the Senators' NHLPA team representative and was close to the negotiations. He was critical of how the NHL presented their definition of hockey related revenue (HRR), a major issue in the ongoing labour dispute. "Basically, they changed the definition, where there would be no accountability in terms of HRR accounting, so they could basically give us whatever number they wanted to", Phillips was quoted as saying. Other players such as Josh Gorges and Brian Gionta shared Phillips' view. Phillips accused the NHL of "dirty tricks" which were hindering negotiations.
On March 5, 2014, Phillips signed a two-year contract extension worth $2.5 million with the Ottawa Senators.
On February 5, 2015, Phillips played in his 1,179th career game as a member of the Ottawa Senators. This marked a new franchise record, previously held by former team captain Daniel Alfredsson, for most games played for the club.
In the summer of 2015, while attempting to return to hockey, Phillips suffered a crack in a disc in his back, rendering him unable to participate in the Ottawa Senators training camp. He subsequently missed the entire 2015-16 season, and announced his retirement on May 26, 2016. His 1293 regular season and playoff games with the club makes him the longest serving player in franchise history. Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said that Phillips would have a role in the team organization working on community development, businesses development, and relations with alumni.
On October 5, 2019, the Senators announced that Phillips would have his jersey number (#4) retired by the team on February 18 of the upcoming season. He will be the second player to have their jersey retired by the franchise, the other being Daniel Alfredsson.
Phillips played for Team Canada at the 1996 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships held in Boston, Massachusetts, where he was held pointless in six games, as Canada won the gold medal. He returned to the tournament in 1997, held in Geneva, Switzerland, where Phillips had an assist in seven games, helping Canada win the gold medal once again. He was named to the 1997 tournament all-star team.
Phillips played for the Canadians at the 2000 IIHF World Championship held in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he had no points in nine games, as Canada finished in fourth place. He returned for the Canadian team at the 2005 IIHF World Championship held in Vienna and Innsbruck, Austria, where the Canadians finished with a silver medal. In nine games, Phillips had an assist. Phillips represented Canada again at the 2009 IIHF World Championship held in Bern and Kloten, Switzerland, recording three assists in nine games as Canada won the silver medal. On November 11 playing with the Stitts Vegas selects on an overseas trip to Sweden, Phillips recorded 1 goal and 3 assists in his first international play in almost a decade.
In September 2012, it was revealed that Phillips was initiating a $7.5-million lawsuit against his former agent, Stacey McAlpine, to recover lost money as a result of bad real estate deals. The suit, launched at the Ontario court in Ottawa, alleges that Phillips was misled by McAlpine and hasn't been able to recover monies invested or access more than $5.5 million of his money being handled by McAlpine. The suit came one month after Phillips' former Ottawa teammate Dany Heatley initiated similar legal proceedings against McAlpine.
In 2012, Phillips became a co-owner of Big Rig Brewery, a microbrewery named after his on-ice nickname. In 2014, it opened a second location and a new production facility. Its Big Rig Black IPA won the a gold medal at the 2014 Ontario Brewing Awards as well as the gold medal at the 2014 Canadian Brewing Awards. By 2021, two Big Rig Kitchen & Brewery locations were promised in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) through franchises by Foodtastic, described as a leader in the Canadian restaurant franchising business with over 130 restaurants and C$240 million in annualized sales.
|1993-94||Fort McMurray Oil Barons||AJHL||56||6||12||22||72||10||0||3||3||16|
|1994-95||Fort McMurray Oil Barons||AJHL||48||16||32||48||127||11||4||2||6||10|
|1995-96||Prince Albert Raiders||WHL||61||10||30||40||97||18||2||12||14||30|
|1996-97||Prince Albert Raiders||WHL||32||3||23||26||58||--||--||--||--||--|