Trade Rumors Heating Up

Lowetide
February 06 2011 08:01AM

This is Chris Phillips. He's rumored to be heading to the Edmonton Oilers. It is one of many rumors out in the ether that could impact the town team.

Mike Brophy and John Shannon were on Sportsnet last night and suggested one of the current rumors has Dustin Penner heading to Ottawa in a deal for Chris Phillips. Phillips is a UFA, so one imagines that this would be for a signed Phillips, or that it might be part of a bigger deal (perhaps involving a third team).

Chris Phillips? He's making $3.5M and is in fact a free agent at the end of the season. He's a western kid, so the club might feel they could sign him and Phillips certainly has the reputation for being an effective shutdown player. He would have spent a lot of time mentoring young Sens blue, so that would be good news for kids like Jeff Petry.

Question: Is Phillips a good NHL defenseman at this stage of his career? Here's what we know:

  • Phillips plays the toughest opposition Ottawa faces and it isn't close. Source (Desjardins) ishere.
  • Phillips is doing it with mid-level help from the Ottawa roster, which means with very little help at all. The 10-11 Senators are not the 77 Habs.
  • Phillips is a team worst -26 on a team that is currently -48 on the season (at evens). If the club played three pairings evenly at equal strength, his expected minus would be -16. He is playing tougher opponents (as noted above) so the plus minus numbers--while ugly--makes him somewhat innocent (with an explanation).

Other rumors have the Preds hot for Hemsky (Matheson has it here) and the Penguins may come calling with the news that Evgeny Malkin's season is likely over.

My own hope is that the club keeps both Penner and Hemsky. However, I can also see the wisdom in acquiring a veteran, signed defenseman to add to the current group of Whitney and Gibert. Those three men could anchor the blue and help along Peckham and Petry. Ladislav Smid's future may be covered in the Matty article I linked to above.

I've been saying for awhile that this deadline is going to be interesting. Steve Tambellini is open for business at the trade deadline and then in summer, and those appear to be his only windows. With that kind of restriction, he needs to be very aggressive.

Dustin Penner to Ottawa for a signed Chris Phillips qualifies as very aggressive.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#51 godot10
February 06 2011, 11:14AM
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Phillips has a NMC. The only way he agrees to a trade to Edmonton rather than a Stanley Cup contender is with a signed 3 year @ $4 million per contract with a NMC.

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#52 speeds
February 06 2011, 11:15AM
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Lowetide wrote:

Disagreeing with me is probably a solid bet. :-)

I see your point, but don't think the Oilers can give up either player for futures. If they do nothing at all at the deadline the Oilers will still have 2/3's of a pretty damn good line for next year.

Put it this way: IF they trade one or both for futures, we can start looking at the 2012 draft.

I'm not endorsing moving either Hemsky or Penner if they are willing to re-sign; I'm just saying that IF they move at the deadline I'd be really surprised if it isn't a futures type deal.

I prefer re-signing both players, and if it turns out 2 years from now that you have too many good players that command too much money, well, worry about that in the future.

The Oilers have to be careful about waiting too long to turn this around. If you finish bottom 5 again next year, all of a sudden you might be losing Hemsky and Penner to UFA, all your kids are about to get paid, Whitney and Gagner would be two years from UFA and in the same situation EDM is in now with Hemsky and Penner where you're not sure what to do, and the perpetual re-build could be in effect.

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#54 Archaeologuy
February 06 2011, 11:20AM
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@godot10

I'm thinking it will take more than 4 million to convince a guy to give up his first opportunity at Free Agency to sign with the worst team in the league.

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#55 m_kennedy13
February 06 2011, 11:21AM
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@ LT

Way ahead of you on the looking at 2012 draft. Nail Yakupov, he's 14 games behind Taylor Hall at the same age yet already has more goals (just one right now), on one of the worst teams in the OHL. Guy is just an unreal talent, he's going to be the next best thing from Russia. Another small winger though...

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#56 IHeartHemsky
February 06 2011, 11:21AM
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I would be disappointed at the Penner for Phillips trade..IMO.

Maybe it is me overvaluing Penner, but to a cup contending team...his "big body" can become a huge asset in the playoffs...see Franzen, Holmstrom & Fuglin.

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#57 OilFan
February 06 2011, 11:21AM
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@Archaeologuy

Yeah good point but Phillips is no upgrade to Vandermeer. Aren't Penner and Hemsky signed through next season ? Why ruch the trade ?

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#58 jake
February 06 2011, 11:39AM
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Someone correct me if I am wrong, but you aren't permitted to extend a player before the July 1 leading into his final year of an active contract. (Couple posters mentioned 83 and 27 aren't yet signed and the potential meaning of that)

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#59 theoil
February 06 2011, 11:40AM
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How about Penner-Smid-Cogliano for Phillips and Fisher.. That would be a hockey trade of some value for both teams

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#61 Archaeologuy
February 06 2011, 11:43AM
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@OilFan

No rush at all, especially if the return is a stay at home dman in his thirties

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#62 Chris.
February 06 2011, 11:50AM
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I wonder if this is the kind of rumor that is leaked on purpose to prepare Oiler fans for the fact that Penner won't garner the kind of return they expect. Reading between the lines: Penner won't be resigning. (Thank you Kevein Lowe for the bump in payscale... but I'm outta here)

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#63 Woodguy
February 06 2011, 11:54AM
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So LT, if 83 gets moved are you going to title the post "Sail on Hull Olympique", or the more Principe-esque "Ales doesn't live here anymore"

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#64 Rob...
February 06 2011, 11:58AM
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@Lowetide

~It was sad when the Duff for Underwood deal fell apart. I'd be amazed if Tambi managed a Welch for Underwood deal. he might get GM of the Year for pulling that off.~

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#66 Chris.
February 06 2011, 12:41PM
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Ho-Hum. Only 29 hous and 20 minutes until the next scheduled loss.

Is there anything else going on sports wise today?

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#67 owenemma
February 06 2011, 12:42PM
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I played hockey with Chris Phillips when I was a kid. He is from Fort McMurray and his parents still live here and the rest of his family is in Calgary. Phillips is only 32 most d-men stay solid until their mid 30's. I think this would be a good pick-up but it will make more senses as a multi-player deal. On a side note, Chris's dad has had some health issues over the last few years and he might want to be closer to his family.

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#68 BarryS
February 06 2011, 12:43PM
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Seems to me this trading season will turn on whether or not Sid the Kid really is gone the season with concusion problems. Also Malkin is gone for the season, is he not? The Pens might stay right out of the market if two best players gone. Not likely to find adequate replacements since they haven't for their other shortages. As things stack up, no Pens may mean less need for others to make serious changes.

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#69 Hax
February 06 2011, 12:50PM
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In a rebuild don't you usually trade for potential in a younger player or picks. Penner for Phillips would be a horrible trade.

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#70 Eddie Shore
February 06 2011, 12:53PM
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@Chris.

You have to be the most negative person on here Chris. If you dislike the Oilers so much why do you follow them?

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#71 kawi460
February 06 2011, 12:54PM
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The Oil should make an offer for Malkin, now that he's hurt his value might have decreased a tad, you never know GM's do desperate things at desperate times, Penner/Hemsky/2nd/3rd, for Malkin

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#72 Chris.
February 06 2011, 12:58PM
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@Eddie Shore

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadpan

Read between the lines.

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#73 misfit
February 06 2011, 01:02PM
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owenemma wrote:

I played hockey with Chris Phillips when I was a kid. He is from Fort McMurray and his parents still live here and the rest of his family is in Calgary. Phillips is only 32 most d-men stay solid until their mid 30's. I think this would be a good pick-up but it will make more senses as a multi-player deal. On a side note, Chris's dad has had some health issues over the last few years and he might want to be closer to his family.

What would make the most sense is trying to sign him as a free agent in the offseason instead of trading for him at all.

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#75 Captain Obvious
February 06 2011, 01:13PM
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It's pretty clear that fans don't know what they are talking about. In this thread we have someone who made an offer that they thought was outrageous in favour of the Oilers (Penner/Hemsky/2nd/3rd for Malkin) when in fact that would be a fanboy trade in favour of the Penguins. If Tambelline made that offer the Penguins would say yes immediately and without hesitation.

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#76 DBO
February 06 2011, 01:14PM
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Tambellini tried to make moves with Ottawa before, so it makes sense.

Would we be happy with this deal?

Fisher, Neil and Phillips

for

Penner, Cogs and Smid

Not a rebuilding kind of move, but he tried to sign Neil before, and Fisher is a perfect fit on the 3rd line. Not to mention both Neil and Fisher's deals run out the year we need to re-sign the kids. Ottawa wanted them before, gets them younger and cheaper. We get some vets who still have some years left, add some size and grit and get some PK help (Fisher and Phillips play a ton on the PK).

Not sure how I feel about that kind of move, but if you think MPS can play in Penner's spot next year and he won't re-sign, then maybe this move makes sense.

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#77 stevezie
February 06 2011, 01:18PM
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In Re: trading Omark, I agree that he is expendable, but how much of Paajarvi's recent improvement would we be sending away?

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#78 kawi460
February 06 2011, 01:22PM
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Captain Obvious wrote:

It's pretty clear that fans don't know what they are talking about. In this thread we have someone who made an offer that they thought was outrageous in favour of the Oilers (Penner/Hemsky/2nd/3rd for Malkin) when in fact that would be a fanboy trade in favour of the Penguins. If Tambelline made that offer the Penguins would say yes immediately and without hesitation.

You do know thats a pipe dream for the Oilers.... Malkin is a once in a generation player, he had 112 points a few years back. heck i would even throw in our first

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#79 Eddie Shore
February 06 2011, 01:22PM
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@Chris.

I suppose the humor is lost on me when it's repeated day after day after day.

In regards to the thread, I would be very disappointed if we traded for Chris Phillips. I would be even more disappointed if we traded Penner to get him.

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#80 kawi460
February 06 2011, 01:24PM
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agree

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#81 Eddie Shore
February 06 2011, 01:26PM
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Lowetide wrote:

The Oilers are probably thinking he won't come here if he hits the open market. If they get a chance to sign him before free agency, it might work (as it did with Chris Pronger).

I agree that it would be better to sign him without sending assets away, but the Oilers don't do well signing free agents who are in demand.

What kind of market do you think there will be for Chris Phillips? Reallistically, how many teams can take him on?

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#82 Captain Obvious
February 06 2011, 01:26PM
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kawi460 wrote:

You do know thats a pipe dream for the Oilers.... Malkin is a once in a generation player, he had 112 points a few years back. heck i would even throw in our first

You sir are on drugs. How many once in a generation players do you think there are?

Malkin isn't one of the top 20 forwards in the league. That trade would destroy the Oilers for a generation.

Not only is your trade idea horrible. It would be, and I say this without hyperbole, the worst trade in NHL history.

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#83 Captain Obvious
February 06 2011, 01:27PM
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Dustin Penner is better than Mike Fisher. Why would we trade a better player for a worse player?

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#85 kawi460
February 06 2011, 01:30PM
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Hall/Malkin/Eberle

How would that destroy our team, I dought that the Pens would get rid of Malkin.

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#86 Crash
February 06 2011, 01:33PM
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Lowetide wrote:

I think so. Defensemen always have a higher value at the deadline and Phillips isn't old and doesn't have a long injury history. Plus he's been to a final recently.

I'm surprised the Oilers are apparently heavily interested, though. I understand they need a veteran D to add to Whitney and Gilbert but Phillips--in his walk year--is a curious choice.

Cmon LT, if the Oilers are truly heavily interested and you are the first I've heard say they are heavily interested....then you have to know that if Phillips would first, waive his NMC to come here then it's obvious to me that the trade would come with a contract extension.

There's no point in even bringing up this being his walk year unless the Oilers acquire him on the cheap.

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#87 a lg dubl dubl
February 06 2011, 01:35PM
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Would Murray be dumb enough to take Gilbert for Phillips? God I hope so lol

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#89 Eddie Shore
February 06 2011, 01:39PM
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@Lowetide

Not sure I would have thought of Phillips at all to be honest. Then again, I'm not sure who I would have had in mind.

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#90 BUCK75
February 06 2011, 01:39PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

What's this Penner for Phillips nonsense? Unless there's more to it, that would be terrible.

Maybe Ladi Smid for Phillips.

I TOTALLY agree.

Phillips would have more value to a team contending. The so called hockey experts on the hot stove last weekend said he would be a 4 or 5 on a good team. So he would be playing here top minutes & turn into another goat (Lupul) providing he was signed to continue playing here next year.

Just MO, but I cant see it happening; it would be a massive overpayment.

I don't know if I would be ready to give up on Omark, if Hemsky is gone he would get more icetime.

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#91 Chris.
February 06 2011, 01:39PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

I suppose the humor is lost on me when it's repeated day after day after day.

In regards to the thread, I would be very disappointed if we traded for Chris Phillips. I would be even more disappointed if we traded Penner to get him.

Part of the daily grind of cheering for a last place team... and worse yet: being expected to cheer for your team to land in last place.

BTW, I totally agree with your assessment of a Phillips for Penner trade. Winning a trade is about leverage. Deadline deals should be about getting a contendor to overpay for an asset they think essential for a cup run... Last time I checked, Ottawa wasn't a contender.

I'd rather see Tambellini target a financially desperate team this summer for an experienced vetran D... He could maybe snag some quality for something as inexpensive as a late, late round pick and the corresponding cap relief...

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#92 common sense
February 06 2011, 01:40PM
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I don't think Phillips is a short or longterm answer to our defensive personnel. Maybe Rod would like it but why would you want to give up anything significant for a player become UFA next year who is significantly minus. Phillips reminds of Redden. Someone out there may pay big bucks for this guy next season but I hope it isn't Tambo.

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#93 Crash
February 06 2011, 01:40PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Crash: I didn't bring it up, John Brophy and John Shannon did. My point re: walk year is that they're bidding against a bunch of teams looking for a rental.

It's curious because if you're shopping Dustin Penner for a veteran Phillips isn't the first player most of us would think of at the top of the list.

Yes I heard them bring it up too but how does them bringing it up turn into the Oilers are heavily interested?

This is how these rumours get started. It sounds like a load of hogwash to me....Penner for Phillips? I haven't heard it anywhere else. Mostly I hear teams like Montreal, Boston, Washington and San Jose are teams that are interested in Phillips. Let's get serious, unless Phillips has some unknown desire to play close to home there's not a chance he waives his NMC to come here.

I think the masses already hate ST as it is...if he pulled that one I dare to think what it would be like around here.

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#94 DangerMan
February 06 2011, 01:41PM
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This deal has a lot of ifs to make it even worthy. I'm not a big fan of Phillips apparently as much as LT is. While I'm a partial advocate of trading Penner, its for only someone like him, but doesn't have "The Curse of Ethan Moreau" on him.

Personally, I'm trading Penner for younger players and let this team go full out Lord of the Flies. Players like Eric Fehr+, Anthony Stewart+, Wayne Simmonds+, those three come to mind off the top of my head.

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#97 Crash
February 06 2011, 01:48PM
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Lowetide wrote:

I think it would depend completely on the other names involved. As a for instance, the Oilers have had (in the past) a strong interest in Jason Spezza.

If he's in the deal, then the situation changes. I do think the teams match well for a trade.

Well that's a whole different thing....then it doesn't really become a Penner for Phillps deal. When you're talking names like Spezza it's more a Spezza with Phillips as a throw in deal...

Even still, can anyone really see why anyone with a NMC is going to agree to come to Edmonton unless they are younger players who might want to grow with other younger players?

I agree with you that the teams match up good for a trade as they've actually made one that didn't come to fruition but more likely they would be trading for guys that don't have NMC. Maybe guys like Mike Fisher, Nick Foligno, Chris Neil.

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#98 Quicksilver ballet
February 06 2011, 01:49PM
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Not big on the Phillips scenario.

The only way i'd consider moving a Hemsky++ or Penner++ is if it netted us another top 5'ish pick this summer, am i way off base thinking this?

Phillips for Penner is a step backwards for the Oilers.

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#99 Chris.
February 06 2011, 01:55PM
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@ Lowetide:

I sure like Stéphane Robidas. IMO, he is an under rated defender who has an affordable contract through 2013/2014... Most importantly, Robidas has been fairly healthy having played 75-82 games a season since the lockout (despite playing a robust style)... not sure how you could snag him though... Dallas has cooled off a lot lately and just might blow things up this summer if they miss the playoffs and fail to resign Richards. Money is also an issue in Dallas.

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#100 jake
February 06 2011, 01:56PM
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Over 2 months since this happened but I was returning from the Montreal-Oiler game at Moncton airport on Dec.2. I happened to be on same flight at Stu MacGregor (down scouting the Q I suspected).

I approached him at the baggage claim area and he, unsolicited after some banter, said "we got D comming". I jokingly questioned him about leaning towards Larsson, he chuckled and said no no, that would take too long (implying immediate help comming?). I had to go at that moment but I still wonder what he meant.

Like I said, long ago but sometimes these trades take weeks and weeks? The Senators were 11-13-1 at the time.

Anyway, I don't really like that trade on it's own Penner-Phillips.

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