Greatest Oil Kings, Number 4

This is Phil Russell, who is a strong candidate for the greatest Edmonton Oil King ever. He played in over 1,000 NHL games, was a first round pick and a quality prospect and player.

From the December 1972 HOCKEY DIGEST:

Phil Russell has most of the equipment scouts look for these days– size, toughness, a good shot and strong skating. More than willing to use the body, attested by 331 penalty minutes. A forward when he was younger, he still skates like one but the asset becomes a minor deficit because he still needs to work on defensive play. Doesn’t cover too well around the net but consensus is he can be taught. If anything, his deficiencies are caused by being too eager rather than lack of ability or willingness.

He played in the SCF as a rookie (1973) and never got back to the finals. He was the Flames captain for a couple of seasons, the earliest record I can find for him is 69-70 (Regina Pats of the SJHL) and he rode into the sunset with Kalamazoo (IHL) in 87-88. Various jobs around hockey over the years, including a stint as a pro scout with Pittsburgh.

He coached and managed in the IHL too, and was a scout for the Blackhawks late 90s. He was in Germany as an assistant coach about 2001. This spring, he joined John Marks in the ECHL with the Pensecola Ice Pilots as an assistant coach. They were rookies together in Chicago 25 years ago.

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One Response to "Greatest Oil Kings, Number 4"

  1. Matt says:

    In fact, he was the very first captain of the Calgary Flames (not sure if he had been in ATL).

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