TULSA, Okla. – The Tulsa Oilers announced a new affiliation agreement with the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League and the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League for the 2015-16 season.
“We are thrilled to enter into this partnership with the Jets and the Moose,” said Taylor Hall, General Manager of the Oilers. “Both teams are first-class organizations that share our commitment to winning and not only is this an exciting day for our fans, but it is also an important day for our players who want to continue their development and succeed at the next level.”
“We are pleased to embark on our new partnership with the Tulsa Oilers,” said Craig Heisinger, Senior Vice President & Director of Hockey Operations/Assistant General Manger of the Winnipeg Jets. “Tulsa is an organization that shares our level of commitment to success and we look forward to working together to provide our players’ opportunities to further develop themselves on and off the ice. We are particularly excited to continue our relationship with Head Coach Jason Christie who has been an integral component of some of our prospect development in the past.”
Christie, who was introduced as the new head coach of the Oilers on July 23, has strong ties to the new parent clubs and was instrumental in forging the relationship between the three organizations. Over the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons, Christie played 88 games with Manitoba. He was an assistant coach with the Chicago Wolves from 2008-10 under current Jets’ General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff and most recently, Christie served as head coach of the Ontario Reign, the Jets’ ECHL affiliate for the 2013-14 campaign.
“Being on board with the Jets and the Moose brings Tulsa to a new level as far as player development,” Christie stated. “It’s always exciting to see guys move up to the next level and to help them get there. I know how incredible it is to play for that organization and I know they’ll be very involved in our team and helping us win.”
The Oilers, without an affiliate since partnering with the Colorado Avalanche and Lake Erie Monsters in 2010-11, already have a history with the Jets. From 1979-1982, Tulsa served as Winnipeg’s primary affiliate and during that time, more than 20 players were called up from the Oilers to the Jets.
After departing Winnipeg in 1996, the Jets returned in 2011 and last season, under the guidance of Head Coach Paul Maurice, the squad posted a 43-27-7-6 record and qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Led by captain Andrew Ladd, Blake Wheeler, and Dustin Byfuglien, the Jets tied the franchise record for wins in a season and set a new benchmark with 99 points.
The Moose served as the farm team for the Vancouver Canucks from 2001-11 and then relocated to St. John’s, Newfoundland to become the St. John’s IceCaps and the AHL affiliate of the Jets. In 2015, True North Sports & Entertainment, which owns and operates the Jets and the Moose, moved the team back to Winnipeg in 2015. The two clubs both play their home games at the 15,000-seat MTS Centre in downtown Winnipeg and the Moose is one of two current AHL teams to share an arena with its parent club (San Jose Barracuda), and one of only three current AHL teams to share a market with its parent club (Toronto Marlies).