|Todd Robinson signs With Tulsa - photo by SceneByKimberly.com|
The hopes of many that Todd Robinson would return the the Americans were dashed today when Todd signed with the Tulsa Oilers. With new ownership which means more money look for Tulsa to have a much more competitive team on the ice this season. As you will see from the official Tulsa news release below Todd and Oilers head coach Bruce Ramsay go way back as they played together in 2004-2005 and Ramsay has also coached Todd in the past. Robinson will always be remembered for scoring the championship winning overtime goal and we wish him the best of luck except when he is playing Allen.
TULSA, OK – The Tulsa Oilers of the Central Hockey League announced on Wednesday the signing of five players for the upcoming 2013-14 season.
The Oilers have agreed to terms with veteran forward and former CHL scoring champion Todd Robinson, as well as forward Tomas Klempa who spent the 2012-13 season as a member of the Fort Worth Brahmas. Returning to Tulsa for a second season are forwards Ben Gordon and Drew Fisher, and goaltender Shane Madolora.
“It’s a great time to be a part of this organization and I think every player we’ve signed so far recognizes that this is a team on the rise,” said Bruce Ramsay, entering his fifth season as the Oilers Head Coach. “Those guys coming back all played a huge role for us last season and I know each one of them was extremely popular with our fans. I think our fans are going to be thrilled when they see what Robinson and Klempa can bring to the table. They are incredibly skilled playmakers and each one will play a big part in next season’s success.”
After spending the majority of the 2012-13 regular season with the Evansville Icemen, Robinson joined the Allen Americans. The 35-year old led the CHL in playoff points and guided the Americans to their first Ray Miron President’s Cup. In Evansville in 2011-12, Robinson, a British Columbia native, put up 92 points and won the CHL scoring title.
“Todd Robinson is one of the best players in minor league hockey,” remarked Ramsay. “His vision on the ice is incredible and his ability to move the puck and set up his teammates is second to none. He’s fun to watch, his teammates are going to love playing with him, and I feel very lucky to have the chance to coach him again.”
Robinson, a 5-9, 190-pound right-wing, has a history with the Oilers bench boss. Ramsay and Robinson were teammates on the 2004-05 Muskegon Fury (UHL) and Ramsay was the Head Coach of the Fury during the 2006-07 campaign when Robinson led Muskegon and led the league with 123 points (44 goals, 79 assists). After a season in Denmark, Robinson returned to the Ramsay-coached Muskegon Lumberjacks (IHL) and posted a league-high 112 points (23 goals, 89 assists).
Klempa, entering his fifth pro season, brings speed and skill to the Oilers attack. The 5-8, 180-pound Slovakian tied for the Brahmas lead with 53 points last season and was the only Fort Worth player to appear in all 66 games. Prior to his time in Fort Worth, Klempa spent two seasons with the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees and also appeared in 26 games for the Wichita Thunder in the 2009-10 season.
“Tomas was always a tough matchup for us when we played the Brahmas last season,” Ramsay said. “He’s so quick and shifty that he really creates problems for teams trying to defend him. Plus, he’s very tough to knock off the puck and he seems to always be in the right position at the right time. This is a big pick up for our team, Tomas is really going to help us offensively.”
Despite missing the final 14 games of the season, Gordon finished second on the team in scoring and led the Oilers in power play goals and shots. A veteran of 25 games in the AHL, Gordon started last season on a nine-game point streak and tied a career high with six points in a single game when he registered a goal and five assists in a 6-4 win over Missouri on February 1.
“Last year was disappointing for all of us, but it wasn’t a difficult decision to come back,” said Gordon, who put up 66 points in 52 games last season. “With the BOK Center and the great fan support, Tulsa is already a great place to play, but I believe the new owners will allow us to put a much more competitive team on the ice. I know this can be a really special season for this team, and I want to be a part of it.”
Fisher, 26, ranked seventh in the CHL in rookie scoring last season and was named the Oilers “Most Improved” player. The 6-3, 215-pound left wing notched his first professional hat-trick against Wichita on January 20 and was named the CHL’s Second Star of the Month for January.
Another late arrival to the Oilers roster last year, Madolora quickly established himself as Tulsa’s top netminder. The California native finished second in the CHL in total saves and fifth in save percentage (.912). Madolora recorded a 4-1 record in shootouts and appeared in 36 of Tulsa’s final 39 games. A product of the Rochester Institute of Technology, Madolora took home Oilers “Rookie of the Year” honors and turned aside a season-high 46 shots in a win over Wichita in early February.
“Getting Gordon, Fisher, and Madolora to return was very important for me this offseason,” Ramsay commented. “They are three incredibly gifted players. Last year, Gordon was hurt at the end of the season, Madolora came in halfway through and I had to put Fisher on defense for a period of time. Going into this season, they’re going to be in a much better position to succeed. Gordon has proven throughout his whole career that he can score goals and put up points on the powerplay. Fisher and Madolora are both young players who are going to do nothing but improve and they’re the kind of guys who I never have to worry about as a coach. They get the job done every single night.”