2011.03.02. In which okay fine, we talk about deadline day

Here is a picture of a kitten.


Chris Phillips re-signs for 9.3 million over three years. Thoughts?


I don’t like the re-signing, as much as I like Phillips. I distrust a situation where the player wants to help rebuild without bringing in in a pick to do it. We could have re-signed him on July 1st and also had a pick. I appreciate the hometown discount, of course, but the guy has a once-in-his-career opportunity to play for a contender, and pick his destination at that, and he chooses to stay with a rebuilding club for its last twenty games. No thanks. We could have used the 2nd round pick.

Add to that that we have yet another logjam of mediocre defensemen on this team. Kuba, Gonchar, Phillips, Lee, Carkner, and that’s five without including our one good player, Karlsson, or any of our good prospects. You end up with a team that looks disturbingly like this year’s version.

Ultimately, it’s up to him – he has a NTC. (Which we gave him another one of, by the way.) And I know he’s a good, character guy, etc. But if he plays like he did this season for the next three years, we’re gonna look like buffoons.


I totally agree.  I like Phillips, but this deal doesn’t leave me with a good feeling.

Coming into this deal I thought that Phillips had no leverage.  Wants to stay in Ottawa, super unproductive season, getting long in the tooth, and wants to be a part of the re-build.  If he wasn’t willing to be rented out / no teams wants him, why is this re-signing even happening now? Why not wait till the off season. (I’m sure that there’s a detail I’m missing)  Was this for the potential of assuring fans that there is a reason to go to the games for the rest of the season?  Couldn’t it have been possible to negotiate 3.1/season without a no trade clause or 2.5 million with one?

I don’t know.  It feels rushed, especially if we need room to bring in prospects and as of now, Kuba isn’t going anywhere.


I guess the big X factor is that nobody knows who the GM is going to be in June, and he really wants to stay, so no matter the strength of the agreement in principle, Phillips couldn’t be sure he’d get a contract offer in the summer. So he hung tight and assumed that Ottawa would want to re-sign him rather than risk losing him for nothing.

So, we trade Campoli and a 7th for Potulny and a 2nd. I’m psyched to have the 2nd – that’s potentially five picks in the first two rounds, if that Nashville conditional kicks in. I don’t know anything about Potulny except that he’s a third liner and I guess we needed one of those with Jarkko going out the door. Sort of sucks to trade a late 1st for Campoli and then, only a couple of season later, trade him for a late 2nd. But I guess he served his purpose – he was a cheap stop-gap until our young prospects were ready, which a couple of them are, so he became expendable.


Watching Bryan Murray’s press conference and typing this at the same time.  Starts off by being excited about the Phillips deal, asked him to take a pay cut and he did. Murray thinks Phillips also has a lot left in the tank and hinted that he might have been hurt to start the season.

Potulny is going to finish the year with the big club, since they need bodies. McIlhenny is going to backup Anderson. Pascal’s probably done for the year and Lehner’s going to play the playoffs in Bingo.

Wasn’t planning on signing Campoli, the pick he got will be decided from one of the 3 2nd rounders Chicago has two days before the draft

Anticipates signing a top six forward and possibly packaging picks for a player or 1st rounder. Plans on drafting a first rounder that can play with the club next year

2 1st rounders

3 2nd rounders

Total of 12 picks

Sounds like there will be two new faces on the back end. Didn’t speculate on what the top six forwards would look like.

Look at me I’m reporting!

My opinion, Phillips is here way too long for way too much money. Could have returned after the season, like Conrad said. Murray practically outed Campoli and Kuba as one or both of the guys he was looking to move today. Trying to figure out who’ll be here next year is the fun part.  If Murray works his plan and drafts an NHL-ready forward and signs a top six forward (so pissed Williams resigned with LA!) This might not be the worst team in the NHL?


I’m feeling pretty pessimistic about this rebuild today. Didn’t trade Neil or Kuba. Didn’t trade Phillips or Lee. Didn’t trade Anderson. Of course they didn’t have the balls to trade Alfredsson or Spezza. After all of this overhaul, we end up with a late 1st, a couple of late 2nds and potentially a third 2nd that might also be a 3rd and might also be nothing, all depending on if Nashville, who has never won a playoff round, wins a playoff round.

If they sign a top six forward and package picks to get another top six forward and it doesn’t work RIGHT AWAY, then they just fucked this rebuild for a year. This all sounds suspiciously like exactly what they’re already doing. The East is wide open, blah blah blah, anyone can make it. There’s about three quality players available July 1st, and the last two UFAs we signed, Kovalev and Gonchar, we overpayed and got burned. Sounds like they’re trying to get back to the bubble team grind.

Maybe it works. Maybe it’s the only option because of a lack of assets and a weak draft. But it sort of sucks. I was looking forward to a crazy draft day. Maybe Murray / his replacement (Omega Murray) makes more moves after the season.


The injury excuse for Phillips’ subpar season is a weak one if you ask this guy. But I do like this signing. He can and will be solid for this team next year, with all of that (post) teenage spirit hanging in the dressing room.

Campoli was serviceable and brought his speed to a relatively not fast defense. I liked the kid and wish him good luck with Chicago.

I’ll be the little ray of sunshine up everybody’s ass and bring a bit of positivity. The draft is only the beginning. The off-season will see the purge continue with (hopefully) more trades including Kuba. In my twisted mind, a rebuild isn’t about getting rid of all the old pieces. We all know this is borderline impossible unless you Redden all the bunk Murray signings or straight-up buy them out. You need a healthy mix of vets and youth to make this work. Stay the course. It’s that fuckin simple y’all. I believe the foundation is there, with more pieces on the way. Do not sign a top six forward and develop one internally.

I’m on to you old man Murray. You may trick the Euge into signing you for another year, but we all know you’re done.

My proposition: let the CCFR run the team for a season. It can only get better.


Grading the rebuild thus far, I would dip into the C grades until at least the draft. I think until such time as this team no longer has $25M still tied up in veteran contracts – Neil, Kuba, Gonchar, Spezza, Alfredsson, Phillips – I don’t think this went as far as it should. None of those players, save for maybe Spezza, are good enough or young enough to build around, and they also won’t help you win now. It’s tough for me to rate Murray, because I don’t want him to trade players just for the sake of it – meaning, he probably just didn’t receive any worthwhile offers – but all I see is a weak 1st rounder and a couple of 2nds in a weak draft. That’s not enough to launch a rebuild.

Add to that the needless pickup of Anderson, and I’m pessimistic. Why would Anderson sign in Ottawa, and who is Brian Murray to offer him a contract? Why wasn’t he flipped for a pick at the deadline? Why is Murray again talking about signing a top six forward? It’s starting to sound like this team is returning to the sneak-in-as-a-low-seed strategy. Rebuilding needs to be from the ground up, and trading away a couple of centers, an agitator, a useless winger, and a third pairing D is not a complete rebuild.

I say C-, unless there’s more trades at the draft.


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