A-Train stays on board

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:33 AM ET

Anton Volchenkov signed a contract extension yesterday to stay on the Senators blue line.

His defence partner, Chris Phillips, could be next, the Sun has learned.

While Volchenkov agreed to a three-year, $7.5-million (all terms US) deal, talks went into the night between Phillips and the Senators as the sides tried to complete a four-year deal believed to be in the $15-million range.

Senators GM John Muckler said yesterday the club is still hoping to keep Phillips from going to unrestricted free agency July 1. Muckler said the team has agreed to money and term with Phillips, but "it's the other things" that have to be cleared up. If the deal isn't completed today, it might have to be put off until after the playoffs.

"The discussions are going very well. I don't think either side has any complaints," said Muckler.

It's believed the issue is the language of a "no-trade" clause in the contract.

A source said if Phillips is going to give up unrestricted free agency, then the clause is important and his agent Stacey McAlpine wouldn't want it "loosely worded."

Muckler said getting Volchenkov, who made $1.5 million this season, signed was important.

"This has definitely been his breakthrough season for Volchenkov," said Muckler. "He's played awfully well."

Volchenkov will make $2.1 million next year, $2.2 million in 2008-09 and $3.2 million in '09-10.


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