Former NHL player, head coach and Oilers’ captain Jim Wiley passed away at 71

TULSA, OK— The Tulsa Oilers, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, received the news Monday that former Oilers’ Captain Jim Wiley has passed away at the age of 71.

Born on April 28, 1950, the Sault Ste. Marie, ON native played his junior hockey in the NOJHL before winning a national championship with Lake Superior State University in 1971-72.

Wiley finished his decorated career in Green Country, playing for the Oilers from 1975-1980, recording 252 points (91G, 161A) in 254 games. Wiley led the Oilers in regular season assists and points in 1975-76, leading the team to a CHL championship. While with the Oilers, Wiley earned his Masters Degree in Athletic Administration from the University of Tulsa.

The 6’2, 196 lbs. forward began his Oilers’ career on an NHL deal with the Vancouver Canucks. Wiley totaled 14 NHL points (4G, 10A) in 63 appearances with the Canucks and Penguins. Wiley also won the 1974 Calder Cup with Hershey of the AHL, leading the Bears with 16 points (5G, 11A) in 14 playoff games.

After a successful playing career, the former Oiler enjoyed a 19-year coaching career, including a stop as the head coach of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. Wiley’s coaching career started in 1984-85, guiding the USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers for six seasons. Wiley then made the jump from junior to pro hockey, assisting the Kansas City Blades in 1991-92 and 1992-93 before taking over the reins for three seasons. Wiley won an IHL conference championship in 1994-95. The former NHLer then took over the Sharks head coaching position for the 1995-96 season before taking the Kentucky Thoroughblades to back-to-back AHL playoff appearances from 1996-1998. Wiley returned to coaching in 2002, leading the ECHL’s Lexington Men O’War to a playoff berth. Wiley ended his coaching career with stints in Memphis, Roanoke and Amarillo.

Wiley stayed in hockey after retiring from coaching, serving as the Director of Hockey operations for the CHL from 2008-2014. In 2015, Wiley joined the Professional Hockey Players’ Association as a Field Consultant, where he worked until his passing.  

The Oilers are deeply saddened by the passing of Jim Wiley, a member of their hockey family, and a faithful servant to the game of hockey over the past five decades.

Jim is survived by his wife of 53 years, Chris, his son, Jim Jr., his daughter-in-law Tiffanee and his beloved grandsons, Tanner and Ty. 

Memorial services for Jim will be held at Grace Community Church, 4001 Broken Hill Dr, Fort Smith, AR, 72908 on Thursday, Dec. 30 at 2 p.m.

Call Now ButtonCall or Text