The Central Hockey League announced today it is naming its two conferences for two men who have played integral roles in the sport of hockey.
One league will be the Turner League, named after former goaltender Joseph Turner who played with the NHL's Detroit Red Wings before serving in World War II. He was killed during battle in Belgium in 1944. Not only will the conference bear his name, the team who wins the conference will be awarded a newly created Turner Trophy.
The same will be said for the winner of the other conference. It will win the N. Thomas Berry Trophy, named for Tom Berry, who currently serves as the CHL's Commissioner Emeritus and has been involved in the sport for nearly 50 years, serving for 13 years in the IHL, including as commissioner from 1989-1994 and also was a principal investor of the World Hockey Association's Indianapolis Racers.
"We are pleased to name the conferences after individuals who made significant contributions to the sport," said CHL Commissioner Duane Lewis. "Joe Turner's heroic life is a symbol that all athletes should revere and appreciate and Tom continues to play a large part in the growth and development of the CHL and has served as a role model for many people in the industry. The Turner and Berry Conferences are very fitting and something all players will strive to win throughout the regular season."
The Tulsa Oilers will compete for the Berry Trophy against the Allen Americans, Arizona Sundogs, Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, Laredo Bucks, Mississippi RiverKings, Odessa Jackalopes, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees, and Texas Brahmas.
The Turner Conference will consist of the Bloomington Prairie-Thunder, Colorado Eagles, Dayton Gems, Fort Wayne Komets, Evansville IceMen, Missouri Mavericks, Quad City Mallards, Rapid City Rush, and Wichita Thunder.
Bruce Ramsay enters his second season as head coach of the Oilers, who will play 33 games at the BOK Center this season. The home opener is October 15th against the Wichita Thunder.