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Hockey Hall of Fame Announces 2003 Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award and Foster Hewitt Memorial Award Recipients

Hockey writer Michael Farber and "Voice of the Oilers" Rod Phillips honoured

TORONTO (May 28, 2003) -- Bill Hay, Chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame, announced today that Sports Illustrated writer Michael Farber will receive the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for distinguished hockey writing and that long time "Voice of the Oilers" Rod Phillips will receive the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for his outstanding work as an NHL broadcaster.

"Michael Farber represents the best in our business," said Larry Brooks, president of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. "He is a witty and stylish writer, who has the ability to tell a story with charm and intelligence."

Farber was a two-time winner of the Canadian National Newspaper award for sports writing during his 15-year career at the Montreal Gazette. Farber's expertise and passionate, creative writing have made him the longest-tenured hockey writer in Sports Illustrated's 49-year history.

Rod Phillips has been the radio voice of the Edmonton Oilers for as long as Edmonton has had an NHL team, beginning his play-by-play career with the Oilers in 1972 while the team was a member of the World Hockey Association. Phillips currently calls Oliers games on CHED 630 AM radio in Edmonton, and in a recent province wide poll was named one of Alberta's top media personalities.

"Rod has been thrilling Edmonton Oiler fans with his exciting play-by-play coverage since the club's inception in 1972," said Chuck Kaiton, President of the NHL Broadcasters' Association. "He is very deserving of this award."

The Foster Hewitt Memorial Award is named in honour of the late "Voice of Hockey" in Canada. It was first presented in 1984 by the NHL Broadcasters' Association for distinguished contributions by members of the NHLBA. Named in honour of the late Montreal newspaper reporter, the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award was first presented in 1984 by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association for distinguished contributions by members of the PHWA.

Farber and Phillips will receive their respective awards at a luncheon presentation on Monday, November 3rd as part of the 2003 Induction Weekend/Celebration festivities. This fall's Induction Weekend will take place October 31 - November 2 culminating with TSN's live broadcast of the Induction Celebration on Monday, November 3rd.

The naming of Farber and Phillips as this year's media honourees preludes the June 11, 2003 announcement by the Hockey Hall of Fame of its 2003 Inductees into Honoured Membership.

Elmer Ferguson

Elmer Ferguson presided over the sports desk of the Montreal Herald until he died, at the age of 87, in 1972. Ferguson's longevity and encyclopedic knowledge of hockey earned him the respect of his industry, while his insightful and sardonic comments earned him an international following of hockey fans.

Foster Hewitt

In March 1923, Foster Hewitt aired one of the first hockey radio broadcasts. From that night on, he became the eyes and ears of radio listeners and television viewers across Canada. Foster described thousands of hockey games, including national, World and Olympic championships in Canada, the United States and Europe.

For more information, please contact:

Kelly Masse
Hockey Hall of Fame
(416) 933-8212