THE JOSEPH TURNER MEMORIAL CUP
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.
|THE 56 TURNER CUP CHAMPIONS|
|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|