TULSA, Okla. – Rob Murray led the Tulsa Oilers to a Mountain Division title in 2018-19. On Thursday, the club announced he had signed a two-year extension to remain Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations through the 2020-21 campaign.
The upcoming season will be Murray’s 17th as a bench boss at the pro level; spending his first eight years as head honcho of the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League, and the past eight seasons in the ECHL split between Tulsa and the now defunct Alaska Aces. The Toronto native had a record of 231-150-50 in six seasons with the Aces, leading them to three straight Brabham Cups as well as the 2014 Kelly Cup title.
Murray will be entering his third campaign in charge of the Oilers, and has been instrumental in the club’s return to prominence over the past two seasons. Tulsa has a record of 73-53-18 in Murray’s two years at the helm, and enjoyed a banner year in 2018-19. The Oilers matched a franchise record with 53 combined regular season and playoff wins this past season, and claimed a division title for the first time in 43 years. Tulsa advanced to the Western Conference Final in the Kelly Cup Playoffs, falling on home ice in game seven to the Toledo Walleye.
“We’re very excited to have Rob back on board,” said Oilers General Manager Taylor Hall. “Having a coach of his caliber lead this team to new heights last season was huge for our fan base, and it was important for us to bring him back this summer.”
Tulsa looks set to contend again in 2019-20, and bringing Murray back will help ensure the leadership remains a consistent foundation to build upon in T-Town.
“I’m happy to be back in Tulsa for another two years,” said Murray. “We accomplished many of our goals as a team last season, and I’m looking forward to building off of that success with a strong group of players returning from the roster.”
During his playing days, Murray amassed a total of 1,018 games at the AHL level as well as 107 appearances in the NHL. Murray was drafted 61st overall by the Washington Capitals in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft, and played a total of 16 seasons as a pro. He accumulated 161 goals and 312 assists for a career total of 473 points in the AHL, and added four goals and 15 helpers at the NHL level. He was inducted into the AHL Hall of Fame in 2017.
Tulsa returns to action on Friday, October 11th, beginning it’s sixth season as a member of the ECHL. The Oilers kick off the campaign with a three-game homestand against three former Central Hockey League rivals inside the BOK Center. The action begins on Friday the 11th, as the Oilers begin the season with a 7:05 p.m. CT showdown against the Kansas City Mavericks in a rematch of the first round of the 2019 playoffs. The Oilers won games six and seven at home to eliminate the Mavs and advance to the second round. The Oilers will then face the Allen Americans on Saturday, October 12th, with faceoff once again set for 7:05 p.m. CT. The weekend will then close with a Sunday afternoon tilt against the Rapid City Rush, with the puck set to drop at 4:05 p.m. CT.
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