Bruce Ramsay | Tulsa Oilers

Bruce Ramsay’s tenure as Oilers’ Head Coach is coming to an end after six seasons. Ramsay, who coached 398 games behind the Tulsa bench, has been named an Assistant Coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins in the AHL. (photo by: Kevin Pyle – www.photopyle.com)

TULSA, OK – The Tulsa Oilers announced on Monday that Bruce Ramsay is stepping down from his position as Head Coach and will accept an assistant coaching position with the Grand Rapids Griffins, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings.

Ramsay will be re-united in Grand Rapids with his long-time friend and former teammate, Todd Nelson, who was recently named the new Head Coach of the Griffins. Ramsay and Nelson played together in Grand Rapids during the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons and helped lead the Muskegon Fury (UHL) to a Colonial Cup Championship in the 2001-02 campaign. Nelson became the Muskegon Head Coach in 2003 and Ramsay served as his assistant from 2004 to 2006. The duo guided the Fury to a Colonial Cup title in 2005.

“This is an incredible opportunity for me and my family and I want to thank Todd Nelson and the entire Griffins organization for believing in my abilities,” said Ramsay. “Although I am excited for the next step in my career, it is very difficult to leave Tulsa. I am extremely proud of what we were able to accomplish in six years and the Oilers’ front office staff, players, and certainly the fans, will always hold a special place for me and my family. We are so grateful for their support and their friendship.”

In six seasons behind the Tulsa bench, Ramsay guided the Oilers to three playoff appearances. The 46-year old compiled an overall record of 185-178-35 (.507) and ranks second on the Oilers’ all-time list of regular season wins, playoff wins, and total games coached. In 2011, Ramsay coached the Oilers to their first playoff series victory in 17 years. He led the 2013-14 Oilers to a 12-win improvement over the previous season and in 2014-15, Tulsa’s first season in the ECHL, Ramsay’s squad posted 37 victories, the second-highest win total in franchise history.

“I want to say a special thank you to our owners, Rodney, Brandon, and Johnny Steven, my friend and General Manager, Taylor Hall, our former owner Jeff Lund, and every single one of our players for making these last six years the best years of my life,” Ramsay remarked. “The owners and the staff were always behind us and gave me the tools to succeed and improve. I feel so fortunate to have the privilege to coach so many outstanding players and I thank each and every one of them for their hard work, their sacrifice, and their respect.”

“We are thrilled for Bruce to have a chance to continue his career in the AHL,” said Oilers’ General Manager, Taylor Hall. “He has worked tirelessly over the last six years to put our team in a position to win and we are so thankful for all of his outstanding efforts. Because of Bruce’s drive and commitment, our franchise is in a great position moving forward. He was a tremendous ambassador for our team and for the sport of hockey and he is very deserving of this new opportunity in Grand Rapids. Bruce and his family will be sorely missed.”

The Oilers’ search for Ramsay’s replacement begins immediately but no timetable has been announced for naming a successor.

“There are many talented coaches at the junior and pro level who are deserving of a shot at this level,” Hall said. “We will take our time and conduct a diligent, thorough search to ensure that we find the coach who can develop talent, engage with our fans and the community, and most importantly, build on our tradition of success.”

The Oilers open the 2015-16 season on Friday, October 16 at 7:05 p.m. against the Wichita Thunder. For more information on season tickets or group tickets, call 918-632-7825 or log on to www.tulsaoilers.com.

Please direct all media inquiries and interview requests to Rob Loeber, Oilers’ Broadcaster and Director of Media Relations at 918-230-8518 or rob@tulsaoilers.com.

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Below is an Excerpt of a Tulsa Oilers Game

At 10:22 of the period, of the 2nd period, Blomqvist goes to the penalty box, two minutes for tripping. The Americans will have their 2nd power play opportunity of the night.

The face-off [inaudible 01:00:59]. There’s a short in here. The face-off will be in the Tulsa zone, and the Oilers are going to have to kill off this Rusty Roberts Bail Bonds penalty kill. Rusty Roberts Bail Bonds, call 918-592-BAIL.

Puck goes out in the neutral zone. Americans get it in their own end, they’ll rest the play from there. Blomqvist in the penalty box for Tulsa.

Americans with the puck in the Tulsa zone now. King gets knocked down, gets the pass away to Steffes. His shot goes off the side of the goal, almost hit the referee. Now cleared out in the neutral ice. The Americans reset to Costello at the blue line. He dumps it off into the corner. Oilers recover.

Konan sends it around to the far side, but kept in at the point, as the Americans are on the power play here. With it is Gens. Gens in the corner, sends it into the slot. There intended for King, he has it broken up, stolen away by Nugent. However, the Americans keep it in again. Down low on the goal line, passed into the slot, shot goes wide.

Now to the point, now to King, up the slot, nobody there, intercepted by the Oilers’ Konan on the way in, and he clears it up the length of the ice. The Oilers will go make a change, and so will the Allen Americans. There’s 40 seconds left in this penalty to the Oilers’ Blomqvist.

One of the Oilers was tripped up coming out, DeSalvo. No call. Back come the Americans. Parker in the zone, sends it off the boards behind the goal, round to the far side. Now they bump into the corner boards, after it is Harstad. He gets it away and it’s cleared up the length of the ice by the Oilers to kill some of this penalty time. Down to 16 seconds left in the man advantage for the Americans.

Back come the Americans. Over the blue line, they dump it off into the Tulsa zone does Eric Roy to the near side. Now knocked away by the OIlers’ Lalancette. However, it was kept in at the blue line. Oilers are back to full strength, Blomqvist comes out of the penalty box. One of the Oiler players was tripped up, no call. Oilers wanted a penalty there. They didn’t get it.