His voice has been synonymous with everything copper and blue for the past 37 years, and following tonight’s home game against the visiting L.A. Kings, his play calling will be immortalized forever.
Prior to tonight’s Kings/Oilers tilt at Rexall Place, Edmonton players will honour veteran radio play-by-play man, Rod Phillips, by wearing No. 37 on their jerseys to commemorate his 37 years of Oiler broadcasting, which included games when the team toiled in the World Hockey Association.
For Oilers Nation, Phillips’ voice and on-air colour nurtured the identify of the fledgling WHA franchise when it joined the NHL family, which included unparalleled on-air descriptions of five Stanley Cups, a seventh game loss in 2006, and of course most recently, some pretty years.
Throughout his career, he never shied away from calling it the way he saw it, even where criticism was necessary, knowing full well he’d be walking throughout the doors with the silver Oil Drop and mingling with players the next morning during practice.
It was that candid, honest delivery that garnered the respect of players from The Great One, to Messier to current players including Hemsky, Horcoff and company.
Players past and present paid tribute yesterday to Phillips during a media luncheon, and on radio and TV talk shows, where stories about Phillips, including one with former Oiler coach and GM Glen Sather talking about his former “roomie” are being shared.
Rockin Rod will be missed, but his “gargantuan” voice will live on forever.
Phillips will permanently retire to the desert near Phoenix, where he and his wife currently reside.
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.