(ISN) – July 7, 2014 (EDMONTON, AB) – There will be a familiar face in charge of the
Edmonton Oil Kings next season as general manager Randy Hansch announced Monday the
promotion of associate coach Steve Hamilton to head coach.
“Steve has definitely earned this promotion and is ready for the opportunity. He has
been a big contributor to our program and our success, and with his experience, the
transition will be a smooth one and an important one,” Hansch said.
“It really is the perfect fit.”
The Edmonton-born Hamilton, 40, takes over from Derek Laxdal, who was hired by the
AHL’s Texas Stars last week, after four years with the team as an assistant then
associate coach. He will be the third head coach in modern franchise history after
Laxdal and Steve Pleau.
Hamilton has handled the defence for four straight playoff appearances, three
consecutive 50-win seasons, two WHL titles and a Memorial Cup Championship. He has
also been in charge of an Oil Kings penalty-killing unit that has been the WHL’s
second most effective unit for three years running.
“It’s a big honour, but also something I feel is a big challenge. It’s the next
logical step in my coaching career, and I’m very thankful the organization has given
me the opportunity,” said Hamilton, who also has a 2-0-0-0 record as a head coach in
the WHL after spelling Laxdal for a pair of games over the past three seasons.
“The results we achieved with Derek Laxdal are some of the most
impressive in WHL history, and he will be sorely missed, but I am
excited to build on the foundation we have constructed here. The Oil Kings are a
terrific organization to be a part of and the success we’ve enjoyed has been truly
special. I look forward to continuing that in the future.”
“I think Steve’s definitely passionate and committed, and he also has the ability to
present his message to the players and relate to them very well, and that’s an
important part, especially at the junior level,” Hansch added.
Prior to joining the Oil Kings, Hamilton spent four years as the head coach and
general manager of the Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League
(AJHL), being named coach of the year three times and leading the team to an AJHL
championship in 2010.
Hamilton is also an instructor in the hockey program at Vimy Ridge Academy, a
University of Alberta graduate and the son of former Oil Kings and Edmonton Oilers
captain Al Hamilton. The pair completed a rare double feat this May as Hamilton
joined his father, a member of the 1966 Oil Kings, in winning the Memorial Cup.
“Edmonton is my home and it’s where I want to raise my family, and I know that you
don’t always get these opportunities, so I feel exceptionally fortunate to be able
to maintain our life in Edmonton,” he said. “The Oil Kings have been a huge part of
our family for over 50 years, and it’s an amazing feeling to be able to continue