Thursday, August 22, 2013

Oil Kings sign Laxdal to extension

Press Release

 Edmonton, AB — Edmonton Oil Kings General Manager Randy Hansch announced Wednesday that the team has agreed to terms with Head Coach Derek Laxdal on a two-year contract extension.

“I would like to thank Kevin Lowe, Bob Green and Randy for the opportunity to continue coaching the Oil Kings,” said Laxdal. “I look forward to working hard with such a great staff. The Oil Kings have a rich winning tradition that I am very honored to continue to be a part of.”

Laxdal, 47, has guided the Oil Kings to a 132-64-7-13 record in his three seasons at the helm, including a WHL Championship in 2011-12 and an Eastern Conference championship in 2012-13. The two-year extension will keep Laxdal behind the Oil Kings bench through the 2015-16 season.

“You can’t overlook back-to-back 50-plus win seasons,” said Hansch. “It’s good to have that winning culture.

“I think it’s important that you’re able to keep some continuity with your program,” he continued. “Derek’s been here four years, working with Steve Hamilton, and it’s important to have that consistent message.”

Laxdal, a native of Stonewall, MB, is the second Head Coach in modern Oil Kings history  and has set team records for wins and points in each of his three seasons with the team, setting new marks again in 2012-13 with 51 wins and 108 points.

“The bar has been set high the last three years with the talented players that have gone on to pro and college careers,” he said. “To be a part of it was a great opportunity, and we’re looking forward to the next group of kids coming through,” he said.

Prior to joining the Oil Kings for the 2010-11 season, Laxdal served as Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations for the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads, winning a Kelly Cup Championship with the team in 2007.

A WHL alumnus, Laxdal played with the Brandon Wheat Kings and Portland Winterhawks, winning a Memorial Cup with Portland in 1982-83. Laxdal was drafted 151st overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1984 NHL Draft and played 67 games over six seasons in the NHL with the Leafs and New York Islanders.

 (Nathan can be reached at nathanfournier@mainehockeyjournal.com)

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