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All Time Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks Greatest 100- #56 Phil Russell

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CHICAGO - OCTOBER 09: A Championship banner is seen during a ceremony before the Chicago Blackhawks season home opening game against the Detroit Red Wings at the United Center on October 9, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO - OCTOBER 09: A Championship banner is seen during a ceremony before the Chicago Blackhawks season home opening game against the Detroit Red Wings at the United Center on October 9, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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When you talk about a big time skater while being a big guy that could hit, it sounds like a extinct kind of player when looking at today’s NHL. 

The Chicago Blackhawks drafted Phil Russell with the 13th pick in the 1972 draft because he played defense like someone you would imagined played defense in the early 1970’s.

Russell was a big guy that could hit and defend which he did on a nightly basis, and was a fan favorite because he was a lunch pail type of player night in and night out.  Back when it was more fashionable, Russell was a true intimidator on the blue line for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Russell could be called a lot of things, but he was a good defenseman with a very good shot that skated really well for his era.  In today’s game lots of defenseman skate well, but not many of the fast skaters are also big time hitters every night.

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Of course if you were a big hitter during the 1970’s you were in a fair share of fights so here is a highlight reel of Russell’s fights with the Blackhawks and with some of the other franchises he played for throughout his career.

Russell was a rookie with the Chicago Blackhawks when they made it to the Stanley Cup Final in 1973 only to lose to the Montreal Canadiens, and to be honest that was the best team he ever played on .

When the Chicago Blackhawks started tailing off in the late 1970’s he was part of the big trade with the Atlanta Flames that brought Tom Lysiak to Chicago.

Russell played over 1,000 games in his NHL career, but his best seasons were the first 7 he played with the Chicago Blackhawks establishing himself as one of the very good defenseman in franchise history.

Do you remember watching Russell play in the NHL?

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Only 56 more days left until the Chicago Blackhawks take on the Pittsburgh Penguins from the United Center on opening night.

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