Get to Know Phil Varone

by Joe Boughner (@McLlwainsWorld)

Almost every year in every NHL training camp, some unheralded depth guy puts on enough of a show to get fans talking in excited tones before eventually coming back down to earth and disappearing from our collective memory. In Ottawa, such a player is often said to be "pulling a Bochenski" and this year nobody has Bochenski'd harder than Phil "The Thrill" Varone.

From fans in the upper decks singing his praises to the tune of the creepy-as-all-hell-in-retrospect Knack hit My Sharona, to other tweets that suggested he is pretty okay at hockey, the pride of Vaughan, Ontario, is all the rage in Sensland.

But who is Phil Varone? We sat down with the upstart sniper Googled him and then took artistic liberties with whatever came up to bring you this Very Special Feature.


Give him some slack, Jack.
Phil Varone was born in Vaughan, Ontario, eldest son of Phillipe "Ol' Pep" Verone, a sheet metal worker whose own dreams of sports stardom faded away after an unfortunate plumbing accident as a teen left him unable to give more than 87% to any given task.

"I'd always wanted to make it to the big leagues in competitive darts," explained the elder Varone. "But that requires 110% effort at least 75-80% of the time. I didn't have it in me."

Forced to carry the dreams of his father in a tattered knapsack, young Phil Varone learned early on the value of hard work, often getting up at the crack of dawn to feed the family chickens before heading off to school on his second-hand bike, the banana seat cracked and worn so many a tattered knapsack.


But the temptations of high school life nearly ended the Varones' shared dreams of stardom.

It's funny because he has the same name as a drummer.
That's the joke.
Photo by MattyGoSens.
"Philly started hanging with a rough crowd," lamented his mother Maria. "Getting into heavy metal music and partying and stuff... it was upsetting."

Varone ended up taking up the drums and going on tour with his band Saigon Kick in 1988 somehow despite being born in 1990 (Editor: Joe, this can't be right. Are you sure this is the same dude?). This led to further stints with Skid Row and Mötley Crüe's Vince Neil and the crazy lifestyle that often comes along with such a crowd.

Eventually, he began to be known more for his NSFW hobbies than for his silky mitts on the hockey rink.


That's when fate intervened.


"I think it's fair to say the Murrays saved my life," mused Varone from his Ottawa hotel room.

"Living in Rochester, doing swinger porn and trying to reboot my drumming career, it was toxic, man."

That's when Tim Murray and his Uncle Brian engineered The Trade (TM).

"The Senators organization is the furthest thing away from a life of hard partying and heavy metal," explained Varone. "It was like finding the fountain of youth and also a fountain that makes you good at hockey."

Living out of a suitcase in a suburban Kanata hotel room has given Phil Varone a new outlook on life and a new chance to honour his father's legacy.

"Whether I end up here or I move into the Fairfield Inn near the Cracker Barrel in Bingo, I really feel like I've turned a corner. I'm no longer Phil Varone, 48-year-old drummer-turned-porn-star. I'm Phil Varone, 25-year-old fringe NHL'er who is Bochensking hard and living the pre-season dream."

"You couldn't make this up if you tried."
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