Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray took one of the prizes off the trade market Sunday night when he reached a contract agreement in principal with defenceman Chris Phillips.
However, Murray said the deal, reported by the Ottawa Sun to be three years for a total of about $9-million (all currency U.S.), was not official. He said he and Phillips' agent, J.P. Barry of CAA Sports, "have some things we have to work out."
Murray said he expects to complete the deal Monday morning, well ahead of the NHL's trade deadline of 3 p.m. Eastern time.
"I'd say we're very close," Murray said. "I talked to [Barry]and we said we'ds talk again in the morning."
Phillips, 32, has spent his entire NHL career in Ottawa and had a no-movement clause in his contract. But if Murray was unable to work out a new contract for the pending free agent he planned to ask him to waive his no-movement rights. The new contract will also have a no-movement clause.
Even though Phillips is now staying with the Senators, Murray said he still hopes to make one or two moves on Monday. He is looking for draft picks and prospects, and veterans like centre Chris Neil or defencemen Chris Campoli and Filip Kuba could be on the move.