John Wharton - Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup Dynasty, Trainer
Rico Phillips - Recipient of NHL's Willie O'Ree Award for Community Service
February 26, 2020
40 years ago arguably the greatest upset in the history of sports occurred. If you were old enough to watch it you probably remember every game. It was the US Olympic Hockey Team’s win over the Soviet Union’s juggernaut team.
To put it in to perspective Fish is joined in the Aquarium by two of Flint’s most important and impactful hockey leaders. Rico Phillips a Flint Southwestern graduate is the founder of the Flint Inner City Youth Hockey Program, and the winner of the prestigusious National Hockey League’s “Willie O’ Ree Community Hero Award for his work in bringing more cultural diversity and inclusion to the sport in Flint. His retirement from the Flint Fire Department didn’t last long as he soon accepted a new job. He’s currently the Ontario Hockey League’s Director of Adversity and Inclusion.
John Wharton, a Flint Northern Viking, was at the epicenter of one of the hockey worlds greatest teams and Stanley Cup winning dynasties - the Detroit Red Wings. As trainer for the club he was intimately involved in making those teams hum, keeping them healthy, and worked closely with everyone from iconic coach Scotty Bowman, Hall of Fame Stevie Yzerman, to the so called “Russian Five”. He is featured in both the book of the same name, and the movie.
They both join in to comment on the greatest hockey game in American history. That these two Flintstones have had such an impact on the sport of hockey only enhances their insight.
Two Flint boys with the Willie O’ Ree and multiple Stanley Cups between them? Do you believe in Miracles? YES!