OTTAWA – Ottawa Senators (@Senators) defenceman Chris Phillips announced today his retirement from the National Hockey League. A former first overall selection of the Senators in 1996, Phillips spent his entire 19-year NHL career in Ottawa, establishing a new Senators all-time games played mark with 1,179 while making a lasting impression on the Ottawa-Gatineau community.
“Chris’ trademark leadership, determination, hard work, and resilience as a hockey player gave our city and our fans the opportunity to witness an impressive 19 year journey in the National Hockey League,” said Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. “Chris’ commitment to our team and our city places him among one of the greatest players to don a Senators uniform. He will forever hold a special place in the history of our hockey club. Chris, his wife Erin and their children Ben, Zoe and Niomi will always be part of our Senators family and I look forward to their ongoing involvement with our team, our community and various foundations.”
In addition to Chris’ declaration on his playing future, the Senators announced today that Phillips has agreed to stay with the organization to work in the front office. In this position, Phillips will continue to engage with the Ottawa-Gatineau community while being involved in community programs, alumni relations and business development.
Phillips grew up in Fort McMurray, Alta., where he learned the importance of family and community from an early age. As a talented teenage defender, Phillips put his family first and delayed the start of his Western Hockey League career to stay home and help take care of his parents, Garth and Carol. He went on to play two WHL seasons and was selected by the Senators with the first pick in the 1996 NHL Draft.
Phillips made his debut with the Senators in 1997 as a 19-year-old and went on to play 17 seasons in a Senators uniform, scoring 71 goals while adding 217 assists for 288 points in 1,179 career regular-season games. He also played in 114 playoff games, including all 20 games of the team’s run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2007.
In addition to his on-ice success, Chris, along with his wife, Erin, have become a fixture and pillar in the local community. Chris and Erin have spent countless hours lending their voice and support by attending charitable and media events for more than 20 charities and not-for-profit organizations in the community including 24h Tremblant, Candlelighters, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Hockey Fights Cancer, Movember, Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival, Project STEP, Project North, Ride for Dad, Snowsuit Fund, the Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation, We Day, the Ottawa Senators Foundation and many others. In true Phillips fashion, he has worked hard to help raise awareness and funds for his hometown following the devastating fires in Fort McMurray.
Chris Phillips career profile
- Drafted first overall by the Senators in the 1996 NHL Draft
- Played his first NHL game on Oct. 1, 1997, at Montreal
- Recorded his first NHL assist on Oct. 15, 1997, versus the New York Rangers
- Scored his first NHL goal on Oct. 30, 1997, at Florida (Mark Fitzpatrick)
- Won two gold medals at the 1996 and 1997 World Junior Hockey Championship
- Was a three-time participant at the Men’s World Hockey Championship, winning silver medals in both 2005 and 2009
- Became the Senators’ all-time leader in games played for the franchise when he appeared in the 1,179th game of his career (and for the club) on Feb. 5, 2015, versus the Washington Capitals (2-1 loss)
- Played his 1,000th career NHL game versus the Nashville Predators on Feb. 9, 2012, in a 4-3 win, scoring two goals
- Phillips was named alternate captain for the Senators on Oct. 3, 2006, a title he kept for the remainder of his playing career
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