Phillips, Rod – 2014
Phillips, Rod – 2014
"Voice of the Oilers"
2014 Bell Memorial Award
Rod Phillips was the "Voice of the Edmonton Oilers" play-by-play action for 37 years from 1973 to 2011. Rod had the best seat in the house while calling the record-setting play of the Oilers. His trademark Scooooore's was often heard over the airwaves in an era when TV coverage was very limited. He WAS the eyes, ears, and voice for hockey fans. The Oilers retired a jersey with the number 3,542 in his honour - the number of games he called. Rod was also known as Mr. Amateur Sport in Edmonton as he always showed a genuine interest in sport at all age levels.
Rod's first WHA game broadcast was on October 12, 1973. His first NHL broadcast was at the infamous Chicago Stadium on October 10, 1979. Over the years, he was able to call the play of the greatest players in the game, including Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Gordie Howe, and Mario Lemieux. He called the play-by-play action of the Oilers seven Stanley Cup Final appearances and their five wins.
After Rod announced his retirement in 2010, he broadcast ten more games during the season. They were known as “Rod’s Classics” and were his version of a "farewell tour". The games involved the greatest rivals of the Oilers throughout the years: the Calgary Flames, Detroit Red Wings, Phoenix Coyotes (who originally were the Winnipeg Jets), Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Dallas Stars, Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, Philadelphia Flyers, and the Los Angeles Kings. During his career, Rod missed calling just nine games, one being when he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Rod worked for CFRN TV from 1964-1992, CFCW for three years, CHED Radio for three years, and Oiler radio for 12 years. In 1967 he hosted Edmonton's first late-night television show. He is one of the five prominent local sports broadcasters immortalized on the Giants of Edmonton mural project in 2013.
Rod received the Hockey Hall of Fame's Foster Hewitt Memorial Award in 2003.