Nathan Lutz | Tulsa Oilers

Nathan Lutz has worn the “C” on his sweater for each of the last two seasons in Tulsa. (photo by: Kevin Pyle – www.photopyle.com)

TULSA, OK – The Tulsa Oilers announced on Monday the signing of defenseman Nathan Lutz for the 2015-16 season. Lutz, a fan favorite and the Oilers’ captain for each of the last two years, is entering his third season in Tulsa and his 15th season of pro hockey.

“At this point in my career, I wouldn’t think of playing anywhere else,” said the 37-year old Lutz. “Tulsa feels like a second home to me and my family. We’ve met a lot of awesome people and we’re excited to come back to so many friendly and familiar faces.”

“In a relatively short period of time, Nathan Lutz has become one of the most popular players to ever put on the Oilers’ uniform,” said Tulsa General Manager, Taylor Hall. “He plays the game with an intensity and an edge that our fans absolutely love and he commands a tremendous amount of respect in our locker room. He is a first-class individual and we couldn’t be happier to have him back in Tulsa for the upcoming season.”

Lutz, a native of Mistatim, Saskatchewan, appeared in all 72 games during the 2014-15 campaign and posted 38 points (6 goals, 32 assists), the fourth-highest point total of his career. In January, Lutz played in his 800th career game and in February, the 6-foot-1, 230-pound blue-liner netted his 100th professional goal. Lutz ranked second on the Oilers’ squad with 117 penalty minutes and registered a +17 rating, fourth-best on the team.

“Last year I felt like I had one of my best seasons and I knew I wanted to play one more,” Lutz remarked. “It’s a different game now. The guys in this league are younger and faster and I know I have to keep myself in great shape or I won’t have a job. Being a veteran guy, I think my experience helps me play the game a little smarter and I’ve worked really hard to increase my strength and stamina to continue to be productive at this level.”

Lutz, who made his professional debut with the Reading Royals (ECHL) in the 2001-02 season, has appeared in 199 consecutive regular season games and has been a part of ten playoff teams. He won a UHL championship with the Rockford Ice Hogs in 2006-07 and was selected as a Central Hockey League All-Star as a member of the Mississippi Riverkings in 2010-11. In 838 total games across seven leagues and five countries, Lutz has put up 101 goals, 286 assists and 1450 penalty minutes. For a third consecutive season, he will be the oldest player on the Oilers’ roster.

“I know we have a good core group of guys coming back and I know everyone really enjoys playing in Tulsa,” Lutz stated. “Even though the team is still in the process of finding a new coach, I know that whoever comes in is going to find a lot of talent ready to go and a group of guys who are hungry to take another step forward.”

Lutz and the Oilers open the 2015-16 season on Friday, October 16 at 7:05 p.m. against their long-time rival, the Wichita Thunder. For information about season tickets or group tickets, call 918-632-7825 or visit www.tulsaoilers.com. Click here to view the complete 2015-16 Oilers’ schedule.

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Below is an Excerpt of a Tulsa Oilers Game

Now it goes back into the American end. Gens gets it behind the goal, sends it around to the neutral ice. Brewer picks it up there for Tulsa. Phil Brewer bumped along the boards with DeSalvo. I guess DeSalvo’s looking okay. He’s back on the ice now. I guess he rubbed that one off where he had that puck that hit off his leg, and limped off the ice to the bench, but DeSalvo back out on the ice now, looks to be okay.

We’ve got an official timeout here in Allen, Texas.

Right now we’re looking at 3:53 remaining in the 2nd period of play. The Americans with a 1-0 lead. As I mentioned earlier, we’ll replay our interview with Axel Blomqvist, newest member of the Tulsa Oilers. He just joined the Oilers before Friday night’s game.

Blomqvist is 6’7″, he’s from Sweden, and he currently has been sent down by Manitoba to play with the Tulsa Oilers. We’ll get to talk with him and learn a little bit more about the big guy in our 2nd intermission.

Shots on goal in this period … They haven’t changed. Let me refresh and see if that’ll make … yeah. Allen now with six shots in the period, Tulsa with three shots on goal in this period.

Back to the action, face-off, and the puck goes into the Tulsa zone. Oilers get it there in their own end. Around to the near side, now to the far side, Brewer with it in his own zone for the oilers. Drops it off to Brown. Dennis Brown sends it ahead.

On the right wing, into the Allen zone, kick save, rebound, and a goal! Count it good! I think it was DeSavlo that got that second effort off that put it into the net, and the oilers have tied the game at one.

I think it was either DeSalvo or Clark. I’m not exactly sure, honestly. Both of them were in on the play. There was the first shot, and a second shot. The second shot’s the one that went in over the should of the goaltender into the goal. Even on the replay they had the camera so tight on the goalie, you didn’t see who took the shot, so I can’t tell you even from the replay. Sorry, we’ll wait for the official announcement on that one. Nonetheless, we do know this, the Oilers have tied the game.

We are back to the action here, as the puck goes into the Tulsa zone. Now in the neutral zone. Picked up by the Oilers there, it’s Blomqvist with it. Now the Oilers back up in their own end. Lutz gets it, brings it over the blue line to the red line. Lutz puts it ahead into the Allen end, and the Americans slap it around to the far side. Kept in by Blomqvist along the boards on the far side. Out to the blue line, Oilers were making a defensive change, so no one there to get that puck.