OTTAWA - Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk announced today that former Senators alternate captain and community ambassador Chris Phillips will have his number 4 retired by the Senators on Tuesday, Feb. 18, when the Senators host the Buffalo Sabres at Canadian Tire Centre.
"Chris Phillips personifies all the wonderful things about being an Ottawa Senator," said Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. "He was drafted first overall in 1996, and we all watched him grow into a legendary competitor on the ice and a community leader and family man who has made Ottawa his home. I'm very pleased to announce that the Senators Player Honouring Committee has decided to retire Chris' legendary number 4. I'm happy that generations of Senators fans both present and future will be able to learn and appreciate one of the greatest players and people in this team's history."
Phillips grew up in Fort McMurray, Alta., learning 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 Western Hockey League seasons before being selected by the Senators with the first pick in the 1996 NHL Draft.
He 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 and 217 assists for 288 points in 1,179 career regular season games. He also played in 114 playoff games, including all 20 games in the run to the Stanley Cup final in 2006-07. Phillips announced his retirement from the NHL on May 26, 2016.
Earlier this year, Phillips' accomplishments had him become one of the more than 275 inductees into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame.
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 charitable and not-for-profit organizations in the community including 24 Hours of Tremblant, Candlelighters, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Hockey Fights Cancer, Movember, Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival, project s.t.e.p., Project North, the Ride for Dad, the Snowsuit Fund, the Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation, We Day, the Ottawa Senators Foundation and many others. In true Phillips fashion, he worked hard to help raise awareness and funds for his hometown following the devastating fires in Fort McMurray in 2016.
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 goal 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
- At the time, Phillips became only the 46th player in league history to play 1,000 games with the same team
- Phillips is 24th on the all-time list of games played with a single team
- Phillips was named alternate captain for the Senators on Oct. 3, 2006, a title he kept for the remainder of his playing career
Phillips jersey the third to be retired in franchise history
The retirement of Phillips' jersey is the third in the history of the Senators franchise, joining Frank Finnigan's number 8 and Daniel Alfredsson's number 11.
About the Ottawa Senators Player Honouring Committee
Established in 2015, the Ottawa Senators Player Honour Committee is a group of influential hockey executives, media, businesspersons and local hockey persons who have volunteered their time to discuss how, who and when to honour Senators' legacy players and builders
A call for nominations is made following the season with committee members submitting individuals names who have made signifiant contributions to the Senators on and off of the ice in the player or builder categories for consideration. Committee members review and discuss the nominations and vote to retire the nominee's jersey, induct the individual into the Senators Ring of Honour or not at all based on four criteria set out by the committee.
Long-time general manager and former Senators coach Bryan Murray was inducted onto the Ring of Honour on Jan. 24, 2017 before his passing later that year.
The committee will continue to work together for future recommendations on honouring legacy players and builders in the years to come.
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