Saturday, February 19, 2011

Respect The Contract

I think the media, both professional and blogosphere, seriously needs to lay off Chris Phillips.

Phillips negotiated for, and got, a no-trade or no-movement clause of some sort. This was given to him as part of his compensation. Presumably had the no-movement not been on the table, Phillips would have asked for more real money to make up some commensurate value to him.

Now everyone is on him to waive his no-movement, and several quarters are giving him a hard time about his potentially not waiving, meaning that the Senators are not able to maximize the value they can get for him by trading him.

The perceived risk here is that Phillips will not waive, and then sign elsewhere at a rate that Ottawa can't or won't match -- thus losing him "for nothing".

Heck, after the last couple of weeks of blather about it, "not living in Ottawa" might be a required part of his compensation, something Ottawa can't deliver.

Think about it this way: would it be right for the club to go to him and ask him to waive salary so that they could either save money or get some players for a playoff run? For one, the league wouldn't let them, and for two -- it is trying to re-negotiate after the deal closes.

Phillips is having an off year here, and frankly I don't think the club needs both him and Gonchar next year to mentor the young 'uns. Of the two, I would rather keep Phillips, but facts are that barring someone being in an excessive WTF mode, Gonchar is unmovable and he will be here in Ottawa next year. That makes Phillips the odd man out on July 1st, trade or no trade.

From a professional standpoint Phillips could use a deep playoff run to help his value in the offseason. To put up some results while separating himself from the mess here in Ottawa would only help.

But the bottom line is: he has the no-movement.

If he wants to play out his contract with Ottawa, let him play out his contract. We'll all see what's up after then.

He's earned that respect.

(Different player, but we've been here before.)