History Of The ECHL: Tulsa Oilers

The Tulsa Oilers are, at the moment, an ECHL team that is older than the league itself. They have been in the ECHL since the 2006-07 season. 1988 is when the ECHL started, but the Tulsa Oilers have been around since the 1928-29 season. They currently play at the BOK Center in the downtown Tulsa area. Seating up to 17,000 people, BOK is the 42nd largest indoor entertainment venue in the United States. The team currently stands at fourth in the Western Conference and third in the Mountain Division. Being around for roughly 90 years, the Oilers have had quite an epic history so far. Since their inception, the Oilers have been four separate franchises in five different leagues.

Starting in 1928, the Oilers were a part of the American Hockey Association, which was the first pro league moving through the South. They originally played at the Tulsa Coliseum, the first indoor ice rink south of the Mason-Dixon line. Their first-ever home game in their inaugural season was on New Year’s Day. That first season, the Oilers won the American Hockey Association Championship. In September of 1952, the Coliseum’s roof radio tower caught a strike of lightning, and since the whole building was mostly made of wood, it caught fire and spread fast. The team wouldn’t touch the ice for a game again until 1954. 

The next version of the Tulsa Oilers was in the United States Hockey League, and they never won a set of championships there, as they were not present for too much time. 

After having disappeared for 13 years, the Tulsa Oilers once again came back, joining the Central Professional League. They were originally a developmental team for the Toronto Maple Leafs but then became affiliated with the New York Rangers. While in the Central Professional League, they won three championships, getting the Adams Cup. 

According to the Tulsa Oilers’ website, “With every franchise winning the championship except for the USHL iteration, the Oilers are one of the most successful professional sports franchises in the history of North America.” An ECHL team being one of the most successful teams out of all North American pro sports? Given their colorful, long, and even dramatic history, it is no surprise at all that they have earned that acknowledgment. 

In this year’s members of the Good Ol’ Oilers, they have a record of 10-9-6 and Currently, they have 23 points, having scored 70 goals and had 64 goals made against them. Collectively, the team has taken 201 penalty minutes. Currently leading the teammates in points made are Kyle Crnkovic (20), Eddie Matsushima (19), Dante Sheriff (14), and Michael Ferren and Carson Focht, both with 12. The Tulsa Oilers still have yet to win a Kelly Cup, and with how good this season has started for them, could this be their year? Stay tuned.

Gabrielle Klempner

Hello! I'm Gabi and I mainly cover the ECHL's Savannah Ghost Pirates, but also the Vegas Golden Knights and the Seattle Kraken. For updates, articles, and more on these teams, follow me on Twitter @gabriellediane0

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