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TULSA, Oklahoma — Two of the biggest rivals in the Central Hockey League – the Wichita Thunder and the Tulsa Oilers – are now in the same family.
At a news conference in Tulsa Tuesday afternoon, it was announced that Steven Brothers Sports Management has bought the Oilers.
Steven Brothers purchased the Thunder two years ago and will continue to own both franchises.
Owning multiple teams in the CHL is not that unusual, and the Steven Brothers don’t expect owning two rival teams to be a problem.
“Both teams will run independent from each other,” said Rodney Steven, Steven Brothers Sports Management. “You have two totally separate coaching staffs and two totally separate management teams and I think they really won’t cross much.”
“For us, we want competition to be fierce and to be the best and we want Tulsa fighting Wichita and we Wichita fighting Tulsa, then everybody wins,” Steven said. “I think it raises the level of expectation for both teams and fans have everything to gain, the better product on the ice.”
The Wichita Thunder and the Tulsa Oilers are the last two of the original CHL franchises from when the league started 21 years go.