They Said It - Oilers Head Coach Bruce Ramsay

They Said It - Tulsa Coach Bruce Ramsay Sits Down for a Q & A

The next coach to participate in the CHL's Q & A happening throughout the month of August is Tulsa's Bruce Ramsay.

Read all the completed Coaches Q & A's HERE

Give us a snapshot of how your first season with the Oilers went?

My first season with the Oilers was like hiking through the Rocky Mountains. At certain points we were on a summit then at other times we were in the valley. We did not develop the consistency needed in order to be a play-off contender. Missing the play-offs for the first time as a Head Coach was very disappointing. All in all there were many positives introduced last season that we are going to exercise to
propel the Oilers organization back to the summit of the mountain.

Your team got off to a great start and had arguably the MVP of the first half of the season with Rob Hisey (later called-up to Springfield, AHL), how tough was his departure on the team?

Our first indication of Rob Hisey’s value to our club came prior to his call-up when he was injured. During his injury we lost 5 games in a row. When you lose you #1 powerplay, powerkill and forward player, it is going to affect the team in a negative fashion and as an organization, we certainly felt the effect.

There is a fine line with the development of players and trying to win hockey games, does losing a player like Hisey to the AHL seem more like a good thing or is it more of a disappointment?

Losing players to the AHL should never be construed as a disappointment. One of the main focuses of a coach is to push and motivate their players to strive to be their best and that includes playing at the highest level possible. It is nearly impossible to replace a player of Rob’s caliber during the season so you hope that his ability to play at the next level motivates and inspires his teammates to follow suit. Rob recently signed a 2-way with the NHL/AHL and he called and told me that I was a big part of his signing and that in and of itself is worth its weight in gold as a Coach and for the Oiler organization. Also, having players move up the AHL is a positive recruiting tool for high caliber players to sign with Tulsa as they know there are opportunities to get noticed and advance in their hockey career.

Your signings this off-season show you are putting together a competitive, young and fast team. Is that the game plan for the club you want to put together?

Our goal and philosophy as an organization this season has changed from one of a team stocked with Veteran players to a team of younger players whose goals are to play at the next level.

Your defensive signings have been very solid, is this a team you see being defense first?

Our defensive signings to this point have been very solid. As the old saying goes “championships are won on the defensive side of the ice”. It comes down to the fact that if you can’t get the puck out of your zone, then it’s going to be tough to create offense. In the game as it is played today, coaches look for mobility in the d-corps and with our signings so far, we definitely have added significantly to this theory.

Who do you look up to for their coaching style, who is one of your coaching mentors/heroes?

I have worked under some great coaches that have had a positive influence on my coaching philosophy. Dave Allison and Danton Cole are two coaches that have helped me along the way. When it comes to style of coaching I would have to say that Todd Nelson, the new Head Coach of the Oklahoma City, and one of my greatest friends, would be someone that I resemble the most.

The Oilers are one of the teams that have moved conference heading to what is essentially the South, do you see this as more of an advantage or disadvantage?

I believe it’s too early to tell which conference will be stronger. The only real disadvantage I can relate to is that the new teams from the IHL had a late start recruiting due to the merger thus inhibiting them from early recruitment. Either way, to accomplish our team goal, you have to beat everyone and there will be some very strong teams in both conferences.

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