Phillips and Neil act as the perfect ying-yang, light-dark, angels-on-the-shoulder conscience for Spezza.
That's a way of looking at it. Not a bad way either.
I just always thought of Neil as the ideal sergeant. Can fill in as a lieutenant if needed but you want him out there doing the dirty work that typically falls outside the purview of a commissioned officer. That's a belabored military analogy but the only way I can put it.
If Spezza is named captain, Phillips will wear the C for a third of the season anyways. Spezza is rhe right choice for the future, but realistically Phillips is the real leader and is technically next in line.