This is Rod Phillips with Al McCann. When I arrived in the CFRN television/radio building in 1986, McCann was the dean of sports reporters in the city and regarded (correctly) as a kind, gentle soul. You couldn’t find a discouraging word about Al McCann if you packed a lunch and took all day.
Rod Phillips was more of the same. Phillips was such a part of the Edmonton Oilers we didn’t see him a lot during the season (Phillips served a dual role–he was travelling secretary for the club, booking hotel rooms and making sure everyone was accounted for) but when he’d drop by the radio station there would be much hilarity.
Rod Phillips is an exceptional joke teller. I mean he could have made a living at it. He’d rip off a punchline (” m r ducks” or “you ruined my life” remain my favorites) and we’d laugh until we cried. Rod is a good man, a wonderful play by play announcer and proof nice guys don’t always finish last.
Sail On, Devon’s most famous son. We’ll remember you.
Ralph Backstrom was a terrific center. He played for those wonderful Habs teams of the 60′s, was traded to Los Angeles and still had enough steam to be a charter member of the WHA. Los Angeles used to deal their draft picks and young players for old vets all the time, and had some good runs because of it (made the semifinals in year two, had some deep runs with 99).
It’s been a long dry spell for the Kings, and it came during a time when the crosstown Ducks were bringing the Stanley to California. The Dustin Penner deal looks even more important with the Kopitar and Williams injuries, and we’ll get to see the big man tonight in Edmonton.