Oiler fans across the province – the world for that matter – will be within listening distance of a radio tonight, in the event that the legendary voice of the copper and blue is calling his final game, when the team skates out onto the ice at The Honda Centre in Anaheim.
Rod Phillips, the unmistakable voice of the Oilers since 1973, has hinted that today’s game between the visiting Oilers and Ducks, could very well be his last behind the mic’.
Although nothing has been formally announced yet, Phillips was contemplating retirement following last season, but instead, returned with a contractual clause granting him two one-week, mid-season absences to catch his breath. The Edmonton Journal reported today, a camera crew has been following Nichols on the team’s most recent road trip, a further hint The Voice of Oilers Nation may be destined for a golf course – with a radio nearby, of course – sooner rather than later.
Phillips, 68, has covered the team throughout the dynasty years and the subsequent Stanley Cup parades to the more frustrating lean years, never abandoning the raspy, edge-of-your-seat delivery that has become his on-air signature, which eventually led him to Hall of Fame notoriety.
If indeed today marks the final call from this legendary Danny Gallivan-like hockey broadcaster, then a Standing O is in order for the now white-haired play-by-play voice, a man thousands have welcomed into their homes, their cars and lives, frankly, for the last four decades.
It’s a pity, the young hockey fans in this city likely won’t hear another “glorious” Stanley Cup-winning game call from Mr. Phillips before he rides off into the sunset.
His replacement (yet TBD) will without question have some sizable shoes to fill. I encourage Oiler fans to share a tale or two about this hockey giant on the Crude Talk Message Board.
In the meantime, keep your chins up and your sticks down Oiler fans!
About the Author
Written by Scott Pattison
Scott is an award-winning sports writer whose career spans more than 20 years. He's proudly covered the Oilers since moving to the Alberta capital in 2000.