It could just be the most exclusive club in the storied history of the Edmonton Oilers. And it’s not actually open to the guys wearing skates.
Over their first four decades in the National Hockey League, the Oilers have had four different players receive the Hart Trophy, three win the point-scoring race, and half a dozen inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. But over that same time, they’ve had just two radio voices.
And it’s about to become three.
Cam Moon is set to make his debut as Oilers radio play-by-play broadcaster on Thursday, sliding in alongside color commentator Bob Stauffer to call the Oilers home game against the Vancouver Canucks on 630 CHED AM.
The long-serving voice of the Western Hockey League’s Red Deer Rebels, Moon follows predecessors Rod Phillips and Jack Michaels in bringing NHL action to life over Edmonton radio airwaves.
Oilers Shake Up Broadcast Teams
As part of a shakeup to the Oilers radio and television broadcast teams that was just announced Monday, Moon is handling radio play-by-play duties for regional games the 2020-21 NHL season.
Moon takes over for Michaels, who is now the lead play-by-play announcer for Oilers regional television broadcasts on Sportsnet. Michaels will be back in the radio booth for national and playoff broadcasts, as he was in Edmonton’s season-opening 5-3 loss to the Canucks on Wednesday, with longtime partner Stauffer.
CHED’s Reid Wilkins and former NHL forward Rob Brown are back as hosts of The Faceoff Show prior to every Oilers radio broadcast.
On the TV side, color analyst Louie DeBrusk and host Gene Principe are continuing in their roles for Sportsnet regional games. Kevin Quinn and Drew Remenda were not retained as part of the Oilers TV broadcast team.
Moon Making Big Jump
It has been a wild week for Moon, who is making the jump to the big time after more than two decades in major junior. The veteran broadcaster has called every Rebels game since 1998 – more than 1,700 – and has also served as the team’s director of media relations.
The Red Deer Advocate reported that the Oilers contacted Rebels owner/GM/coach Brent Sutter last Thursday and interviewed Moon on Friday and Saturday. (from ‘‘I was stunned’, voice of the Red Deer Rebels Cam Moon gets call to NHL,’ Red Deer Advocate, 01/12/2021) By Sunday, Moon was preparing for a season in the NHL.
Moon, who grew up in Edmonton, told The Advocate, “I was stunned. I didn’t expect it. Quite honestly never thought the day would come.”
Moon’s Red Deer provided the soundtrack to the Rebels greatest season, 2000-01, when the team won both the WHL title and Memorial Cup, the only championships in its history. From his spot in the box at the top of Red Deer’s Centrium, Moon called the junior games of many future NHL stars, including current Oilers winger Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the first overall selection in the 2011 NHL Draft.
Michaels, who came to Edmonton after eight seasons with the ECHL’s Alaska Aces, has been the radio voice of the Oilers for the last 10 years. The Pennsylvania native was passed the torch by the legendary Phillips in the 2010-11 season.
The inimitable Phillips is woven in the fabric of Oilers’ lore, as essential a part as any of the superstar players that brought Edmonton five Stanley Cups between 1984 and 1990.
Phillips began broadcasting Oilers games when they joined the World Hockey Association in 1973, and voiced many of hockey’s historic moments, including Wayne Gretzky’s record 50 goals in 39 games in 1981-82. He received the Foster Hewitt Award from the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003 and is honored with a banner that hangs in Rogers Place bearing the number 3,542, which represents the number of games he called for the Oilers.
There Can Only Be One First
The first Oilers NHL regular-season goal that Phillips called was off the stick of Kevin Lowe, 9:49 into the first period, on Oct. 10, 1979, against the Black Hawks at the old Chicago Stadium, in Edmonton’s inaugural NHL contest.
Micheals’ first such call saw Gilbert Brule break the ice at 9:04 of the first period on the way to a 4-0 Oilers victory over the Calgary Flames at Rexall Place in the 2010-11 season-opener, Oct. 7.
Who will be first for Moon?
Brian is an Edmonton-based sports writer and broadcaster. His experience includes working as a sports reporter for the Edmonton Sun, where he covered the Edmonton Oil Kings 2013-14 Memorial Cup championship season.