Chris Phillips underwent back surgery over the summer that likely has cost him the season. Considering the difficulty the Ottawa Senators defenseman has had during his attempt to return, it also may have ended his career.
Phillips has had problems during his rehabilitation and probably will not appear in a contest for the Senators in 2015-16. Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray does not have a lot of confidence that the 37-year-old will be able to make it back at all.
“Chris is a ways away, still,” Murray recently told TSN 1200. “I think he’s trying real hard. He’s working in the gym and doing some skating, but I would say my estimation is, he’s a long shot to come back.”
Phillips last suited up on February 5, when he passed Daniel Alfredsson to become the Senators’ all-time leader in games played by appearing in his 1,179th contest. He finished last season with three assists in 36 games.
Selected with the first overall pick of the 1996 draft, Phillips made his NHL debut in 1997-98, recording five goals and 11 assists in 72 contests. He set career highs of eight goals, which he matched three seasons later, and 26 points in 2006-07.
The 6-foot-3, 219-pounder has collected 71 goals and 217 assists in his 1,179 regular-season games and has added six tallies and 15 points in 114 playoff contests. A native of Calgary, Phillips has had success representing his country in international tournaments, winning the gold medal at the IIHF World Junior Championship in both 1996 and 1997 while taking silver at the World Championship in 2005 and 2009.