TULSA, OK—The Tulsa Oilers announced today that Head Coach Bruce Ramsay signed a two-year extension which will have him behind the Oilers bench until 2016. They also announced that defensemen Nathan Lutz and Jake Obermeyer will return for the 2014-15.
Ramsay, who has coached the Oilers since 2009, has a record of 148-151-29 record through five seasons and has coached the team to two playoff appearances in 2011 and 2014. His 148 wins put him in second place behind Garry Unger and under his supervision the Oilers were the most improved team in the Central Hockey League, bettering their win total by 12 over the previous season. His five seasons behind the bench ranks him as the second longest tenured coach in Oilers history.
“I love this city and our fans, and I’m very thankful to our owners, the Steven brothers, for giving me the opportunity to continue to lead this team in the right direction,” Ramsay said. “We took a huge step forward last season but we can’t be satisfied with those achievements. We’ve got to keep pushing to get this organization back to the top of the Central Hockey League and I’m already excited about next season and the work that needs to be done.”
The team also announced the return of defensemen Nathan Lutz and Jake Obermeyer.
Last season Lutz served as the Oilers captain and scored eight goals and 16 assists in 2014. The 36-year old native of Mistatim, Saskatchewan played in all 66 games for Tulsa last season and will enter his 14th season as a professional next season.
According to the Tulsa Oilers website, since turning pro in 2001, Lutz has played for 17 teams in seven leagues and five countries. The veteran defenseman has over 100 games of experience in the American Hockey League and Tulsa is Lutz’s third stop in the CHL after suiting up for the Mississippi Riverkings (2010-11) and the Wichita Thunder (2012-13).
“Nathan Lutz is one of the most revered and respected players in minor pro hockey and played a huge role in our success last season,” remarked Ramsay. “He is a leader both on and off the ice and hockey players don’t come any tougher than Nathan Lutz. He is always in the right position, he is never shy about sticking up for his teammates, and there is no one I trust more in our defensive zone. I know he made a tremendous impression on his teammates and our fans and having him back is a great way to start our preparations for next year.”
Obermeyer returns to Tulsa after posting a two goal, nine assist record in 2013-14 in 47 games on the ice. He is an effective shot blocker and a prominent member of the Oilers penalty kill unit. His physical presence on the ice helped him to post a +14 rating. The 2013-14 season was his sixth season as a professional.
“Jake is a smart, steady defenseman who is capable of shutting down the top forwards in our league and we feel fortunate to have him back on board for the upcoming season,” Ramsay commented. “He is one of the most fearless players I’ve ever coached and it was incredible to watch how often he put his body on the line to block a shot. The guy is an absolute warrior who plays as hard as he can each and every night.”
The Oilers will begin their 23rd season in the CHL and their seventh as a tenant of the BOK Center in October.
Photos by Kevin Pyle