The Tulsa Oilers are a professional ice hockey team based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which play in the ECHL. The Oilers played their home games at the Tulsa Convention Center until 2008 when they moved into the new BOK Center. For many years, the Tulsa Oilers name was shared with Tulsa's former minor-league baseball team that pre-dated the Tulsa Drillers. To reduce confusion in local news reporting, the hockey team was often called the "Ice Oilers".
|2018–19 ECHL season|
|Founded||1992 (in the CHL)|
|Home arena||BOK Center|
|Colors||Navy blue, maroon, silver, white|
|Owner(s)||Rodney Steven |
|General manager||Taylor Hall|
|Head coach||Rob Murray|
|Affiliates||St. Louis Blues (NHL)|
San Antonio Rampage (AHL)
|Division Championships||1 (2018–19)|
|Ray Miron President's Cup||1 (1993)|
Formerly a member of the Central Hockey League, the Oilers are one of only two teams which played every one of the CHL's 22 seasons (the other being the Wichita Thunder). The Oilers established a winning tradition, making the playoffs in 9 of their first 13 seasons. However, their performance in recent years has been less successful making the playoffs three times since 2005.
Original owner Jeff Lund played an integral part in assembling the 1992–93 team, led by veteran minor league coach and former NHL ironman Garry Unger. The team, anchored by high-scoring forward Sylvain Naud and veteran goalie Tony Martino, finished the regular season in second place, right behind intrastate rival Oklahoma City Blazers. However, in the revived league's first championship series the Oilers handily defeated the Blazers, clinching the title on OKC's home ice. Lund assumed ownership of the franchise in February 1999 after being the team's general manager.
On June 23, 2013, Lund sold the team to the owners of the Wichita Thunder, the Steven brothers.
Tulsa has previously had several other hockey teams named the "Oilers."
The original Oilers joined the five team American Hockey Association as an expansion team in 1928. Their first home game was January 1, 1929, against the Duluth Hornets, as part of the grand opening of the Tulsa Coliseum. The team won the AHA championship that season, and again in the 1930–31 season. For the 1932–33 season, the Oilers moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, and became the St. Paul Greyhounds, but halfway through the season they moved back to Tulsa once again becoming the Tulsa Oilers. At the end of the 1941–42 season, the AHA and the Oilers disbanded due to World War II. Hockey Hall of Fame members Duke Keats and Bill Cowley played for short periods on the Tulsa Oilers during this period.
The AHA was reorganized as the United States Hockey League for the 1945–46 season as a seven team league, once again including the Oilers. That league folded after the 1950–51 season. The team played at Avey's Coliseum during this time. Hockey Hall of Fame member Clint Smith played the 1947–48 season with the Tulsa Oilers after a stellar 11-year career in the NHL with the New York Rangers and Chicago Black Hawks and won the USHL Most Valuable Player Award.
In 1964, a new Tulsa Oilers team joined the Central Professional Hockey League (later shortened to Central Hockey League) in its second season of operation. The Oilers won the Adams Cup as the CPHL/CHL champions in 1968, 1976, and 1984.The Oilers played in the CHL until 1984 when the league folded.
A new Central Hockey League was created in 1992 as a centrally owned league, owned by Ray Miron and Bill Levins. The league was operated by Ray and Monte Miron and funded by Chicago businessman and minor league sports entrepreneur Horn Chen. With the creation of the new CHL the Tulsa Oilers were a team once again. Ray Miron once coached the Oilers in the old CHL and his son Monte had played for the Oilers in 1973–74. Tulsa claimed the CHL championship in the CHL's inaugural season under general manager Jeff Lund and head coach Garry Unger.
The Oilers established a winning tradition, making the playoffs in nine of their first 13 seasons. However, with a decline in their performance and not qualifying for the playoffs since 2005 nor winning a playoff series since 1994, Lund hired former player Taylor Hall as the Oilers' general manager on May 3, 2008. After finishing third to last in the CHL with 18 wins in 64 games in the 2008–09 season, Hall hired head coach Bruce Ramsay, fresh off a trip to the IHL's Turner Cup finals with the Muskegon Fury, on May 21, 2009.
In Ramsay's first season as coach in 2009–10 season, the Oilers rebounded with 28 wins in 64 games to post the second highest point total increase in the CHL from the previous season. On September 2, 2010, the Oilers announced their first National Hockey League affiliation since their reformation in 1992 with the Colorado Avalanche, joining the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL.
On October 7, 2014, soon before the 2014–15 Central Hockey League season was set to begin, it was announced that the league had ceased operations and the Oilers, along with the Allen Americans, Brampton Beast, Quad City Mallards, Missouri Mavericks, Rapid City Rush and Wichita Thunder, were all approved the expansion membership application into the ECHL for the 2014–15 season.
On July 31, 2015, the Oilers announced a one-year affiliation with the NHL's Winnipeg Jets and the AHL's Manitoba Moose. After the conclusion of the agreement with the Jets/Moose, the Oilers announced a one-year affiliation with the St. Louis Blues of the NHL, which did not have an AHL affiliate, for the 2017–18 season. The affiliation was extended for another season in 2018–19, but also added the San Antonio Rampage, the Blues' new AHL affiliate.
|Season||GP||W||L||OTL||SOL||PTS||GF||GA||PIM||Regular season finish
|Central Hockey League|
|2000–01||70||36||26||—||8||80||259||250||2030||5th of 6, Western Division||Lost quarterfinal, 0–3 vs. Oklahoma City Blazers|
|2001–02||64||30||30||—||4||64||204||215||1701||2nd of 4, Northwest Division||Did not qualify|
|2002–03||64||37||22||3||2||79||218||195||1704||3rd of 4, Northwest Division||Did not qualify|
|2003–04||64||26||25||4||9||65||194||210||1198||4th of 5, Northwest Division||Did not qualify|
|2004–05||60||32||25||1||2||67||206||210||1307||2nd of 5, Northeast Division||Lost conf. semifinal, 1–4 vs. Colorado Eagles|
|2005–06||64||29||28||4||3||65||209||227||1687||4th of 4, Northwest Division||Did not qualify|
|2006–07||64||27||28||6||3||63||225||246||2044||4th of 4, Northeast Division||Did not qualify|
|2007–08||64||25||35||3||1||54||194||243||1438||4th of 5, Northwest Division||Did not qualify|
|2008–09||64||18||38||3||5||44||179||270||1668||4th of 4, Northeast Division||Did not qualify|
|2009–10||64||28||29||4||3||63||203||230||1576||6th of 7, Northern Conference||Did not qualify|
|2010–11||66||35||25||5||1||76||242||234||1063||3rd of 9, Berry Conference||Lost conf. semifinal, 2–3 vs. Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs|
|2011–12||66||29||29||7||1||66||207||222||1000||5th of 7, Berry Conference||Did not qualify|
|2012–13||66||22||39||3||2||49||177||254||897||10th of 10, Berry Conference||Did not qualify|
|2013–14||66||34||29||0||3||71||225||215||1170||7th of 10, Berry Conference||Lost quarterfinal, 2–4 vs. Denver Cutthroats|
|2014–15||72||37||29||3||3||80||248||244||1350||4th of 7, Central Division||Lost div. semifinal, 1–4 vs. Allen Americans|
|2015–16||72||37||30||3||2||79||191||191||1083||3rd of 4, Central Division||Did not qualify|
|2016–17||72||27||37||6||2||62||194||241||1247||5th of 7, Central Division||Did not qualify|
|2017–18||72||31||29||3||9||74||214||233||1230||5th of 7, Mountain Division||Did not qualify|
|2018–19||72||42||24||4||2||90||236||198||964||1st of 7, Mountain Division||In progress|
- Bill Haisten, "Blazers' end might spell trouble for Tulsa Oilers", Tulsa World, July 15, 2009.
- "CHL Playoffs 2011". Central Hockey League. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
- "Tulsa Oilers owner Jeff Lund wins 2008-09 CHL Rick Kozuback Award". mlntherawfeed.com. 2009-03-19. Retrieved 2010-09-02.[permanent dead link]
- "Unger in Alumni game". Tulsa Oilers. 2010-08-26. Archived from the original on 2010-09-03. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- "Former player Taylor Hall rejoins the Oilers as General Manager". mlntherawfeed.com. 2008-05-03. Retrieved 2010-09-02.[permanent dead link]
- "Tulsa Oilers name Bruce Ramsay coach". mlntherawfeed.com. 2009-05-21. Retrieved 2010-09-02.[permanent dead link]
- "Oilers to play in Berry conference". Tulsa Oilers. 2010-08-04. Archived from the original on 2011-03-23. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- "Tulsa announces affiliation with Avs". Colorado Avalanche. 2010-09-02. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- "CHL Clubs Join ECHL for 2014-15 Season". Central Hockey League. October 7, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
- "ECHL Accepts Seven Members". ECHL. October 7, 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-10-09. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
- "Winnipeg Jets announce ECHL affiliation with the Tulsa Oilers". Winnipeg Jets. July 31, 2015. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
- "Blues to have ECHL affiliate in Tulsa". St. Louis Blues. August 9, 2017. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
- "TULSA OILERS AND ST. LOUIS BLUES EXTEND AFFILIATION". Tulsa Oilers. May 31, 2018.
- "Tulsa Oilers - Team". Tulsa Oilers. 2015-10-12. Retrieved 2016-07-12.