Last place Edmonton Oil Kings hire new president and head coach

Kirt Hill has been handed the reins to get the struggling Edmonton Oil Kings franchise back on track.

Hill, 30, played four years in WHL and won a championship with Kelowna in 2005

Kirt Hill, left, has been named Oil Kings new president of hockey operations and general manager. Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli presents him with a team jersey. (Min Dhariwal/CBC)

Kirt Hill has been handed the reins of the struggling Edmonton Oil Kings, as the franchise tries to get back on track.

Hill was introduced as the team's new president of hockey operations and general manager on Wednesday morning at Rogers Place.

The team also announced that Brett Lauer has been hired as the new head coach.

"I'm extremely excited to be a part of this organization with the facility here, and the history of the team and what this team has done in the past," Hill said.

"It's an exciting time, and I'm looking forward to it."

Hill has a lengthy hockey resume. He came from the Chicago Blackhawks organization, where he spent a year as an amateur scout.

'Potential is quite high'

Before that he worked for the Western Hockey League as manager of player development and recruitment and director of hockey operations.  

Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli said Hill's hockey brain, aptitude and willingness to look at things differently convinced him the 30 year old was right for the job.

"In the hockey world, he's young," Chiarelli said. "But in the hockey IQ world, for me, what I've seen and I've been around for a while now, his aptitude is quite high, and his potential is quite high."

Hill played for the WHL Regina Pats and the Kelowna Rockets, winning a WHL Championship with Kelowna in 2005.  

He finished his hockey career with the University of Waterloo Warriors in 2013.

Lauer played 323 games in the NHL. Last season he was an assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Lightning.  

He has 15 years of coaching experience at the NHL and AHL levels, and was an assistant coach with the WHL Kootney Ice from 2002-2007.

Chiarelli said both men have a great mixture of hockey experience that should help the Oil Kings climb out of the league's basement; the team finished with a league worst 52 points last season.

Lauer, 51, replaces former Oil Kings head coach Steve Hamilton, who was fired last month.

Hill, replaces former Oil Kings GM Randy Hansch, who is now an NHL scout.