Phillips: "I'm feeling better every day, please stop trying to retire my number."

by Mike Wheeler (@TheMikeWheeler)

While most of the Ottawa Senators prepare for training camp, veteran defenceman Chris Phillips is forced to watch from the sidelines. "It's pretty tough, you know? You just want to get back out there and get ready for the season with the rest of the guys. But I'm getting closer every day and I'm really looking forward to contributing this year. So I really wish everyone would stop talking about retiring my number."

Speaking with the media this week, Phillips was candid about his injury, "This is a contract year for me, and I want to go out there and prove I can lead this team as good as - if not better than - any other defenceman, regardless of how much hair he may or may not have. Haven't heard anyone talking about retiring 65. What kind of a number is that, anyway? Just dumb."

He described the cracked vertebrae he suffered during his recovery from back surgery as a "freak accident." Phillips still stands by his methodology, "It's well-known that water skiing is a big part of my rehab. Sometimes you have a smooth landing on the beach, and sometimes you slam into your pontoon boat and your spine ends up wrapped around the charcoal grill. Just bad luck, I guess."

"Talking about retiring my number is bad enough, but I was at the rink the other day, and I'm pretty sure I saw them working on a graphic to use when I die or something? Come on." Phillips concluded his media availability by reflecting on his legacy, "Retire my jersey all you want. I'll just pick another number. You can't make me retire."

"We expect Chris to make a full recovery and to be a big part of our team's success this year," said general manager Bryan Murray, probably sarcastically. "We're not ready to talk about retiring his number, but we will have some announcements later this month when we unveil the newly resurfaced Chris Phillips Memorial Parking Lot."
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