Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Phil Russell
When the Chicago Blackhawks drafted Phil Russell in 1972, there was no mystery about the kind of player they were about to usher into their organization. The big rearguard had just completed a two-year stint with the Edmonton Oil Kings where he led the WCJHL in penalty minutes while showcasing an abundance of hockey skill.

Russell made the leap directly onto the Hawks' blueline corps in 1972-73. From the moment he hit the ice in training camp, the rookie defender made a strong impression on the minds of management and on the bodies of his teammates and opponents.

He arrived in the big leagues as a soft-spoken but hard-nosed type who could skate well for his size, play with muscle, handle the puck with confidence, and contribute to the power play.

Russell remained a bellicose mainstay on the Hawks' defense for almost seven seasons. In 1979, his club couldn't resist the opportunity to land the star potential of Tom Lysiak. The trade, one of the larger in league history, displaced a wagonload of players, including Russell who went south to Atlanta.

Initially, the big blueliner was not happy to be dispatched to the Flames. He was fiercely loyal to the Windy City and its team. He considered the move to be a rap on his reputation. But upon further reflection, he eventually recognized that the change had brought a renewed spirit that raised his level of play.

Russell continued to play his game of solid defense for a season and a half and then joined his team in its move to Calgary. He remained in Alberta until his trade to the New Jersey Devils in 1983. By then, he was at the tail end of a lengthy career and the Devils were at the tail end of the league's standing. Nonetheless, he toiled on for three seasons until his trade to the Buffalo Sabres in 1985.

With the Sabres, Russell suited up for only a handful of games over the two seasons he spent with the organization. In 1987-88, he jumped down to the Kalamazoo Wings of the IHL where he concluded his career after appearing in only 27 games.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1970-71 Edmonton Oil Kings WCJHL 34 4 16 20 113 17 1 7 8 47
1971-72 Edmonton Oil Kings WCJHL 64 14 45 59 331 16 1 9 10 15
1971-72 Edmonton Oil Kings M-Cup 2 0 0 0 0
1972-73 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 76 6 19 25 156 +31 16 0 3 3 49
1973-74 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 75 10 25 35 184 +47 9 0 1 1 41
1974-75 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 80 5 24 29 260 +7 8 1 3 4 23
1975-76 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 74 9 29 38 194 -20 4 0 1 1 17
1976-77 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 76 9 36 45 233 +1 2 0 1 1 2
1976-77 Canada WEC-A 10 0 3 3 16
1977-78 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 57 6 20 26 139 +19
1978-79 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 66 8 23 31 122 -7
1978-79 Atlanta Flames NHL 13 1 6 7 28 +1 2 0 0 0 9
1979-80 Atlanta Flames NHL 80 5 31 36 115 +14 4 0 1 1 6
1980-81 Calgary Flames NHL 80 6 23 29 104 +17 16 2 7 9 29
1981-82 Calgary Flames NHL 71 4 25 29 110 +6 3 0 1 1 2
1982-83 Calgary Flames NHL 78 13 18 31 112 +2 9 1 4 5 24
1983-84 New Jersey Devils NHL 76 9 22 31 96 -27
1984-85 New Jersey Devils NHL 66 4 16 20 110 -14
1985-86 New Jersey Devils NHL 30 2 3 5 51 -17
1985-86 Buffalo Sabres NHL 12 2 3 5 12 -8
1985-86 Canada WEC-A 8 0 1 1 10
1986-87 Buffalo Sabres NHL 6 0 2 2 12 0
1986-87 EHC Olten Swiss 5 0 1 1
1987-88 Kalamazoo Wings IHL 27 2 9 11 35
1988-1989
1989-1991 Muskegon Lumberjacks IHL
1991-1998 Chicago Blackhawks NHLMGNT
1998-1999 Pittsburgh Penguins NHLMGNT
1999-2000 Cleveland Lumberjacks IHL
2001-02 Sacred Heart University MAAC
NHL Totals 1016 99 325 424 2038 73 4 22 26 202


WCJHL First All-Star Team (1972) Played in NHL All-Star Game (1976, 1977, 1985) Traded to Atlanta by Chicago with Ivan Boldirev and Darcy Rota for Tom Lysiak, Pat Ribble, Harold Phillipoff, Greg Fox and Miles Zaharko, March 13, 1979. Transferred to Calgary after Atlanta franchise relocated, June 24, 1980. Traded to New Jersey by Calgary with Mel Bridgman for Steve Tambellini and Joel Quenneville, June 20, 1983. Traded to Buffalo by New Jersey for Buffalo's 12th round pick (Doug Kirton) in 1986 NHL Draft, March 11, 1986.
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