Horn Chen, a Chicago businessman who financed the creation of the Central Hockey League in 1992 and was the owner of the league’s original six franchises, including the Wichita Thunder, died Monday in Illinois. He was 83.
In addition to the Thunder Chen owned the Oklahoma City Blazers, Tulsa Oilers, Memphis RiverKings, Fort Worth Fire and Dallas Freeze. Over the years he added other CHL teams then later began selling them to local owners.
Chen owned the Thunder until 2011, when he sold the franchise to the Steven brothers.
“We are saddened to hear about Horn’s passing,” Thunder General Manager Joel Lomurno said in a team release. “Without him, the CHL and the Wichita Thunder may never have existed.”
Chen also owned or was part owner of minor league football, baseball and basketball teams.