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Phil Russell

Born:July 21, 1952Draft: 1972 Blackhawks, 13th Overall
Hometown:Edmonton, AlbertaPosition:Defense
Known For:3x NHL All-StarShoots:Left
National Team:CanadaCurrent Status:Retired

Phil Russell (born July 21, 1952) is a retired Canadian ice hockey player, having played his final year in the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres during the 1986-87 season. Drafted 13th overall in the 1972 NHL Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, Russell debuted in the NHL during the 1972-73 season as a 20-year-old rookie, and immediately had an impact in the lineup. Registering 25 points in 76 games while adding 156 penalty minutes, he instantly became a staple on the Blackhawks blue line. He remained in Chicago for seven seasons and was named to the NHL All-Star Game twice during that span before he was traded to the Atlanta Flames in a massive eight-player deal.

Russell spent four seasons with the Flames and was part of the team during their relocation to Calgary. He became the team’s captain for two seasons, from the 1981-82 season to the conclusion of the 1982-83 season, and amassed 60 points in 149 games combined. In the summer of 1983, Russell was dealt to the New Jersey Devils in a trade that sent Steve Tambellini and Joel Quenneville to Calgary. He played in four seasons with the Devils, representing the club at the 1984-85 All-Star Game despite posting a career-low 20 points in 66 games, and he was traded to the Buffalo Sabres in the 1985-86 season after putting up just five points in 20 games.

Following the 1986-87 season where he appeared in just six games with the Sabres, Russell moved on to the International Hockey League (IHL), dressing for the Kalamazoo Wings and playing in 27 games before announcing his retirement from hockey. Internationally, he represented Canada at the 1977 and 1986 World Cup, registering four assists and 26 penalty minutes in 18 games and winning a bronze medal in 1986.

Phil Russell Statistics

Deeper Dive

Staff History

  • Muskegon Lumberjacks, IHL (Assistant Coach) 1988-1994
  • Muskegon Lumberjacks, IHL (Head Coach, Interim) 1988-1989
  • Cleveland Lumberjacks, IHL (Director of Professional Scouting) 1993-1995
  • Cleveland Lumberjacks, IHL (Assistant General Manager) 1993-1995
  • Pittsburgh Penguins (Pro Scout) 1993-1999
  • Frankfurt Lions, DEL (Assistant Coach) 2000-2001
  • Springfield Falcons, AHL (Assistant Coach) 2004-2006
  • Pensacola Ice Pilots, ECHL (Assistant Coach) 2007-2008


  • WCHL First All-star team (1972)
  • 3x NHL All-Star Game (1976, 1977, 1985)
  • World Championship Bronze Medal (1986)
  • IHL Coach of the Year (Commissioner’s Trophy) (1989)
  • IHL Turner Cup Champion (1989)