Exactly a week and a day after announcing a new coach, the Tulsa Oilers wasted little time in obtaining an affiliation in both the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League.
The Tulsa Oilers will be affiliated with the Winnipeg Jets of the NHL and the Manitoba Moose of the AHL.
“We are thrilled to enter into this partnership with the Jets and the Moose,” said Taylor Hall, General Manager of the Oilers. “Both teams are first-class organizations that share our commitment to winning and not only is this an exciting day for our fans, but it is also an important day for our players who want to continue their development and succeed at the next level.”
The announcement of the affiliation marks the first time since 2010-11 that the Oilers have had a parent club in the NHL and the AHL. That year the Oilers had a working affiliate agreement with the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL and the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL. It is also the second time the Oilers have been affiliated with Winnipeg.
From 1979-1982 the Oilers were the minor league affiliate of the Jets, who left Winnipeg for Phoenix and became the Arizona Coyotes in 1996.
The announcement of Jason Christie last week as the Oilers new head coach apparently accelerated the process of nailing down an affiliate for the team.
“We are pleased to embark on our new partnership with the Tulsa Oilers,” said Craig Heisinger, Senior Vice President & Director of Hockey Operations/Assistant General Manager of the Winnipeg Jets. “Tulsa is an organization that shares our level of commitment to success and we look forward to working together to provide our players’ opportunities to further develop themselves on and off the ice. We are particularly excited to continue our relationship with Head Coach Jason Christie who has been an integral component of some of our prospect development in the past.”
In their final season in the ECHL, the Ontario Reign were the ECHL Affiliate of Winnipeg. The Reign are now part of the AHL
Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is looking forward to working with Christie and the Oilers headed into the 2015-16 season.
“We were very patient in the process.” Cheveldayoff commented on the Jets website on Friday, “We were able to connect with Jason Christie on the coaching side of it in Ontario and as you know the Reign are now an AHL team. We wanted to connect with Jason wherever he decided to go and it worked out well. He wound up with the opportunity to go to Tulsa and we get the opportunity to work with a fantastic franchise that has a great history.”
Christie is enthusiastic about staying in the Jets family.
“Being on board with the Jets and the Moose brings Tulsa to a new level as far as player development,” Christie stated. “It’s always exciting to see guys move up to the next level and to help them get there. I know how incredible it is to play for that organization and I know they’ll be very involved in our team and helping us win.”
The Oilers will open the 2015-16 at home against Wichita on October 16th in the BOK Center. Season tickets and other information about the 2015-16 ECHL season can be obtained at tulsaoilers.com.
Information about the Winnipeg Jets can be found at jets.nhl.com.
Information about the Manitoba Moose can be found at moosehockey.com.