The Turner Cup, circa 2001

The Turner Cup, circa 2000

The Turner Cup was unique among the championship trophies awarded on the Professional level in hockey, in that its namesake never saw or knew of the league of the trophy bearing his name.

Joseph Turner was a minor-league goaltender who played in only one NHL game in his career - a 3-3 tie in goal for the Detroit Red Wings. The life of the Windsor native was cut short in the Belgium theater in World War II. However, his hockey-playing friends in the Detroit and Windsor area remembered him when, in December of 1945, they formed a new professional hockey league.

The Trophy is not huge by any sense; it only rises about four feet high, and is not wide of girth. However, its cup supported by eight bands, with the 55 separate championship winning teams engraved on those same bands, is easily recognizable. The wooden platforms supporting each band is even more noticeable on close inspection.

When the Chicago Wolves won the Cup in 2000, they made an effort to refurbish the Cup to the trophy seen above. If you notice in the photo on the right, the lip around the Cup has been changed - and the dents have been taken out.

Sadly, of the two trophies pictured, the Admirals have only won one - the one to my right in the photo from 2000, the Ken Ullyot Trophy. They won it in 1982-83, sandwiched between two seasons when the IHL was a one-division league.

Unfortunately, the words "Milwaukee Admirals" will never appear on the Turner Cup. The International Hockey League ceased operations in June of 2001, and the Admirals have expanded into the American Hockey League. The trophy was donated to the Hockey Hall of Fame after the Orlando Solar Bears won the final Cup.

Perhaps someday the Admirals will win the Frank Calder Cup, the championship trophy of the American Hockey League. But this trophy will be the one Admiral fans - myself included - would most want to take home.

1946 Detroit Auto Club 1947 Windsor Spitfires 1948 Toledo Mercurys 1949 Windsor Spitfires
1950 Chatham Maroons 1951 Toledo Mercurys 1952 Toledo Mercurys 1953 Cincinnati Mohawks
1954 Cincinnati Mohawks 1955 Cincinnati Mohawks 1956 Cincinnati Mohawks 1957 Cincinnati Mohawks
1958 Indianapolis Chiefs 1959 Louisville Rebels 1960 Saint Paul Saints 1961 Saint Paul Saints
1962 Muskegon Zephyrs 1963 Fort Wayne Komets 1964 Toledo Blades 1965 Fort Wayne Komets
1966 Port Huron Flags 1967 Toledo Blades 1968 Muskegon Mohawks 1969 Dayton Gems
1970 Dayton Gems 1971 Port Huron Flags 1972 Port Huron Wings 1973 Fort Wayne Komets
1974 Des Moines Capitols 1975 Toledo Goal Diggers 1976 Dayton Gems 1977 Saginaw Gears
1978 Toledo Goal Diggers 1979 Kalamazoo Wings 1980 Kalamazoo Wings 1981 Saginaw Gears
1982 Toledo Goal Diggers 1983 Toledo Goal Diggers 1984 Flint Generals 1985 Peoria Rivermen
1986 Muskegon Lumberjacks 1987 Salt Lake Golden Eagles 1988 Salt Lake Golden Eagles 1989 Muskegon Lumberjacks
1990 Indianapolis Ice 1991 Peoria Rivermen 1992 Kansas City Blades 1993 Fort Wayne Komets
1994 Atlanta Knights 1995 Denver Grizzlies 1996 Utah Grizzlies 1997 Detroit Vipers
1998 Chicago Wolves 1999 Houston Aeros 2000 Chicago Wolves 2001 Orlando Solar Bears

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