Phillips clear on one thing: He's no Alfie

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:20 AM ET

Chris Phillips could 'C' it coming.

With Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson (lower body) and assistant Wade Redden (chest/shoulder) out of the lineup vs. Washington on Wednesday, the math added up to Phillips wearing the 'C' Wednesday against the Capitals.

While Phillips admitted yesterday that it was "big honour" to wear the 'C' for the first time in his 10-year career with the Senators, he didn't feel right.

"I just think in that situation, when the captain is out of the lineup, there should be three assistants. That's just my personal opinion," Phillips said as he enjoyed a day off with the rest of the players.

"Daniel Alfredsson is our captain. He's our leader and I don't want anybody to think that I am trying or I am going to replace him. I don't want to take something like this away from him."

"It's a big honour. There's no question about it. It's nice that the organization had confidence in me to give me that kind of honour," said Phillips, who had centre Mike Fisher and winger Dany Heatley as his assistants vs. the Capitals.

Phillips, who can become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, would like to stay with the Senators. There haven't been any contract talks lately, but GM John Muckler intends to try and keep him.

It's believed teams have called -- including the Oilers who have long coveted Phillips -- but they've been told he's about to be moved.

Phillips, who is making $1.6 million US this season, isn't worried about his contract status and is going to leave that business to agent Stacey McAlpine.

"There haven't been any talks that I am aware of," said Phillips. "Of course I want to stay here. I would hope that at some point there's some communication, even if nothing gets done, but I believe that communication is good for both sides."

NO UPDATE: Alfredsson had an MRI on what is believed to be an ailing hip yesterday and it's not known how long he'll be out of action. The club sent out a notice stating that it would update reporters today on the health of Alfredsson and Redden, who skated for the second time this week after suffering a chest/shoulder injury last week. The Senators returned AHL callup Danny Bois to Binghamton, but that doesn't mean Alfredsson is ready to return to play tomorrow against the visiting Rangers. Unless Redden has made a miraculous recovery and is ready to return to the lineup, don't be surprised if the club decides to give Rockland native Serge Payer a chance, because Bois isn't ready to be a long-term solution for the Senators if Alfredsson is out for an extended stretch. Alfredsson has had a history of hip problems in the past -- missing 17 games in 2003 with a hip flexor. Asked before Wednesday's 6-2 loss to the Caps if Alfredsson would be out 7-10 days, coach Bryan Murray admitted: "At least."

ALONG FOR THE RIDE: Senators founder and former owner Bruce Firestone joined the team for the game in Washington. Cyril Leeder, the club's COO, brought Firestone down for the game to celebrate the 16th anniversary of Ottawa being awarded a franchise by the NHL on Dec. 6, 1990 at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Fla. It was Firestone, Leeder and former Senators president and GM Randy Sexton who spearheaded the bid to bring an expansion franchise to Ottawa. Firestone returned home with the Seantors on the club's charater. "It was a good chance to thank (Firestone) for his perseverance and efforts to return to the NHL to Ottawa," said Leeder ... There are still 1,500 tickets available for tomorrow's visit by the Rangers.


Videos

Photos