North Bay Battalion has taken the interim tag off of Ryan Oulahen and given him a three-year contract to be the official head coach of the Ontario Hockey League team.
Oulahen took over from Stan Butler — who had been the only coach in the 22-year history of the Battalion — on December 10 when North Bay had a record of 5-23-0.
After being named interim coach to replace Butler, Oulahen piloted the Battalion to a record of 12-18-4 and had the Troops within four points of an Eastern Conference playoff spot when the OHL season came to an abrupt end due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A good guy of the game, the 35-year old Oulahen has a lengthy history with the Battalion.
He played three full seasons as a heart and soul forward for the franchise when it was based in Brampton. Then after a four-year pro career with the top farm club of the National Hockey League’s Detroit Red Wings — which came to an end because of a major injury — Oulahen joined the Battalion as an assistant under the aforementioned Stan Butler.
Oulahen was a Battalion assistant for five seasons — two in Brampton and three more following relocation to North Bay — before getting an OHL head coaching job with the Flint Firebirds.
Still considered a rising coaching star, Oulahen was with Flint for two full seasons and a portion of a third before parting ways with the Firebirds.
With Oulahen officially at the helm in North Bay, the Battalion now has a pair of bright 35-year old minds leading the hockey department.
Former star OHL goalie Adam Dennis took over as general manager of the Battalion midway through the 2019-2020 season at the same time that Oulahen was named interim head coach.
PHOTO: Head coach Ryan Oulahen of the North Bay Battalion.