|Updated: 7/31 3:38 pm
||Published: 7/31 3:33 pm
TULSA, OK – The Tulsa Oilers will be sporting a new look when the 2013-14 Central Hockey League season begins on October 18.
Wednesday at the BOK Center, the Oilers unveiled three brand new jersey designs and announced the signing of forwards Sy Nutkevitch and Brandon Coccimiglio as well as the return of defensemen Ryan Barlock and Jeff Buvinow.
The Oilers famous “Ice Man” logo, used for three seasons from 1994-1997, is centered on the front of the home and away sweaters and the retro look is completed with a horizontal stripe that runs all the way around the jersey. An oil-drop design, used once last season on the Oilers Military Night jerseys, will appear on each shoulder of the new jerseys. The navy blue, maroon, and white color scheme remains the same.
Former Oilers captain Tyler Fleck and his Hardnosed Apparel company designed the new look with help from current Oilers forward Drew Fisher.
“I love that old Oilers logo,” said Fleck. “There’s a lot of tradition behind that logo and I think it’s got a vintage look. I was dead set on bringing it back because I wanted this to be the best jersey I’ve ever designed and I think it’s got a very unique look to it. I can’t wait to be there on opening night to see the boys come out of the locker room wearing those jerseys.”
In addition to standard home and away sweaters, the Oilers introduced an alternate third jersey option which will likely be worn for all Sunday home games. A clean, classic look, the third jersey incorporates the original Oilers orange and blue with a simple, script logo over a tan background.
“We’re thrilled with how these jerseys turned out,” said Taylor Hall, Oilers General Manager. “With new ownership signaling a new era of Tulsa Oilers hockey, we believe it was time for a new look and I think these designs put a new spin on a part of our organization’s past. I know our fans are going to be extremely excited to purchase these jerseys and see them on the ice.”
“As players, we’ve all been looking forward to this for a long time,” remarked Oilers forward Ben Gordon. “I know the guys we have signed and the guys we’re going to bring in are really going to like putting on these jerseys. It’s great for us, it’s fun for the fans, and I’m looking forward to getting this season started.”
With Barlock and Buvinow coming back to Tulsa for the second year of their pro careers, the Oilers have their first two blue-liners signed for the 2013-14 campaign. Barlock, who was dealt to the Oilers from Fort Worth last December, appeared in 40 games for Tulsa and finished his rookie year with three goals and eight assists.
“I wanted to come back because I felt like Tulsa was the perfect fit for me,” said the 6-1, 185-pound Barlock. “I trust Rammer (Oilers Head Coach Bruce Ramsay), I like the way he runs the team and with the new ownership taking over and some of the guys coming back from last season, it was a no-brainer for me. I know I’m going to be more comfortable out there this season because I have a better feel for my strengths and weaknesses so I think I’ll be a more poised player.”
Like Barlock, Buvinow joined the Oilers last December and suited up in each of the final 46 games of the regular season. The Turnersville, New Jersey native tallied 20 points (5 goals, 15 assists) and recorded a four-game goal scoring streak in late February. Buvinow, a 23-year old out of Brown University, spent significant time on the Oilers powerplay and earned Oilers “Defensive Player of the Year” honors.
“I didn’t hesitate to re-sign with the Oilers because there’s already a great staff in place and with new owners taking over, I know it can only get better from last year,” Buvinow stated. “I’m excited for the opportunity to come back and I think the experience I gained last season will help me tremendously this year.”
“Ryan and Jeff were two of the best acquisitions we made last season and they were consistent performers for us,” Ramsay said. “It was very important for us to bring those guys back because they’re young, they’re smart, they do their jobs, and they’re both fantastic teammates. I know they’re only going to get better and I’m excited for the opportunity to coach them again.”
The signings of Nutkevitch and Coccimiglio provide the Oilers with young talent at the forward position. Nutkevitch, 6-1, 190-pounds, played 61 games as a rookie for the Fort Worth Brahmas last season and posted 46 points (13 goals, 33 assists). A 25-year old native of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec, Nutkevitch spent four years at Division III SUNY-Potsdam where he recorded 103 points in 99 career contests.
“I really enjoyed playing at the BOK Center last season,” said Nutkevitch. “I love the atmosphere in a big rink like that and I think it will really suit me because I play a skill game, I like to pass first and set up my teammates but I also like to play at both ends of the ice. I’m happy to hear about the new ownership and really looking forward to playing with guys like Todd Robinson, Ben Gordon, and my friend, Tomas Klempa.”
“When we played against Fort Worth last season, I remember Sy had an impact on almost every one of those games,” said Oilers Head Coach, Bruce Ramsay. “He’s got good size and speed, and from everything I’ve seen and heard he’s a smart, solid, all-around hockey player.”
Coccimiglio, 26, joins the Oilers after spending parts of two seasons with the Missouri Mavericks (CHL) and playing a total of eight games last year with the Mississippi Surge (SPHL). A product of Burlington, Ontario and Mercyhurst College, the 6-2, 200-pound Coccimiglio has put up 55 points in 81 regular season professional games. In the 2011 CHL playoffs, Coccimiglio tied for the Mavericks’ team lead with three powerplay goals and posted eight points in nine postseason outings. He enjoyed his best season as a pro in 2011-12 when he notched 20 goals and 17 assists as a member of the Mavericks.
“I had a couple of buddies who used to play in Tulsa and they all said great things about the fans and the town that made me excited to be a part of this organization,” Coccimiglio said. “I saw what the new ownership was able to do with the transformation in Wichita and that played a big factor in my decision to sign with Tulsa. I think they can do the same thing here and it’s always exciting to be a part of new beginnings.”
“Through junior hockey, college, and now as a pro, Brandon has always played at an extremely high level,” commented Ramsay. “He’s familiar with this league and his previous experience is going to be very valuable for him. I think he’ll make a difference in our lineup and I think you’ll see him contribute in a lot of different areas.”
The Oilers home opener is scheduled for Saturday, October 26 against the Allen Americans.