Monday Evening Update: The Sin Bin’s Matthew Harding spoke with Bruce Ramsay after the announcement was made. Here is the conversation in its entirety:
Our thanks to Rob Loeber with the Oilers for his assistance in getting us a conversation with Bruce Ramsay.
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.”
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