Victoria Salmon Kings

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Victoria Salmon Kings
SalmonKingsLogo2005.png
City Victoria, British Columbia
League ECHL
Operated 2004-2011
Home arena Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre
Colours

Navy blue, gold, silver, white

                   
Owner(s) Graham Lee
Affiliates Independent (2004-2005)
Vancouver Canucks (NHL) (2006-11)
Franchise history
1988–1996 Erie Panthers
1996–2003 Baton Rouge Kingfish
2004–2011 Victoria Salmon Kings
Championships
Regular season titles none
Division Championships 2007–08
Conference Championships none
Kelly Cups none

The Victoria Salmon Kings were a professional ice hockey team based in Victoria, British Columbia. They were members of the Mountain Division of the Western Conference of the ECHL, debuting in the 2004–05 ECHL season and folding after the 2010–11 ECHL season as the Chilliwack Bruins WHL franchise relocated to Victoria and they couldn't simultaneously operate.[1] They played out of the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.

History[edit]

While the Victoria region has had a long and distinguished hockey history - the Victoria Cougars won the Stanley Cup in 1925 - the region was the largest Canadian region without either professional or Major-Junior hockey when the WHL Victoria Cougars (a team with no connection to the aforementioned Cougars) moved to Prince George in 1994. This was a crippling blow to Victoria hockey fans, whose highest-level remaining local team was the Tier II Junior 'A' Victoria Salsa, who later became the Victoria Grizzlies.

By this time, it had become evident that the 50-year-old Victoria Memorial Arena, seating only 4,000 for hockey, would have to be replaced if Victoria expected to be able to attract a new hockey club. After several years of discussion, the construction of a new arena was approved by Victoria voters in a 2002 referendum, with one key condition being that its construction was dependent on Victoria securing a WHL team.

The original logo of the Victoria Salmon Kings lasted for one season. It is rumoured that the logo needed to be changed as the Los Angeles Kings took exception to this logo.
Salmon Kings shoulder patch logo.

When the private-sector partner, RG Properties, was unable to secure a WHL club, the company bought the rights to the defunct ECHL Baton Rouge Kingfish, formerly the Erie Panthers, a charter member of the ECHL, and announced that Victoria's new team would be named the Salmon Kings. Reaction in the community was somewhat mixed; while securing a club was good enough for construction of the new arena to begin, many were troubled by the perception that they would be receiving a lesser quality of hockey than that seen in the major-junior WHL. In addition, the ECHL was virtually unknown in Canada; Victoria was to be the first Canadian team in league history. In response to all this, the Salmon Kings began marketing to Victoria residents that the Salmon Kings and the ECHL would offer a high quality product. Controversy remains about whether or not the ECHL is a better fit than the WHL. While many have embraced the third-tier professional hockey, believing it superior to the WHL, others say they would prefer the WHL if they had a choice.

In the summer of 2006, the Salmon Kings became the ECHL affiliate of the nearby Vancouver Canucks.

It became clear as the 2004–05 ECHL season approached that Victoria's new arena, now called the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre, was not going to be ready in time for the season. In response, the ECHL scheduled the Salmon Kings to begin their inaugural season with an unheard-of 14 game road trip. Even this was not enough time for the arena to be completed, and in the summer of 2004 the Salmon Kings were forced to secure ice time in the Bear Mountain Arena in the suburban community of Colwood, which had been constructed with the needs of the junior 'A' Victoria Salsa and the Victoria Shamrocks box lacrosse club in mind.

Despite all this, the Salmon Kings took to the ice in their first regular-season game on October 22, 2004, in Bakersfield, California, against the Bakersfield Condors. Former University of Alberta player Ryan Wade scored the first goal in Salmon Kings history. They lost this game 7-2; the Salmon Kings would struggle during their 14-game road trip, only winning 3 games, losing 10 games in regulation and one in a shootout. Their first victory came at the expense of the Fresno Falcons on October 24, which the Salmon Kings won by a convincing 5-0 margin. David Brumby, the Kings' starting goaltender at the time, turned away 37 shots for the shutout.

As the NHL lockout progressed, Dale Purinton and Dan Blackburn of the New York Rangers and Mark Smith of the San Jose Sharks played for the Salmon Kings. Purinton, an enforcer, was suspended twice by the league, the first for a career-ending check into the boards of Condors player Krzysztof Wieckowski, and the second for returning to the ice to fight after being ejected during a bench-clearing brawl involving the Kings and the Falcons. After the latter suspension, Purinton was suspended indefinitely by the Salmon Kings and did not play again that season.

After the grueling 14-game road trip which lasted for over a month, the Salmon Kings finally played their first home game on December 5, 2004, at Bear Mountain Arena. The Salmon Kings lost this game 4-3 in overtime. They would continue to struggle during their first season, going only 15-52-5 over 72 games; notably, they set an ECHL record for a continuous winless streak, going 0-18-2 between December 31, 2004 and February 4, 2005.

After going through another losing season in '05–'06, which had four different coaches behind the bench, the Salmon Kings would eventually rebound with their first winning season in the 2006–07 season. Under head coach, Mark Morrison, the Victoria Salmon Kings would finish the season with a 36-32-1-3 record and finished off their remaining regular season games on a nine-game winning streak. The Salmon Kings finished the season 7th overall in the National Conference and faced the Alaska Aces in their first playoff appearance. The Salmon Kings would eventually win Game 1 by a score of 3-2, but the Aces managed to win their next 4 out of 5 games to win the series 4-2.

The 2007–08 season saw the Salmon Kings establish themselves in the ECHL. With a 91 point season, and winning 42 from 72 games, the Salmon Kings narrowly won the National West division, and took the number two seed into the Kelly Cup playoffs. In the playoffs, the Salmon Kings won their first-ever playoff round by eliminating the Bakersfield Condors in six games. In the second round, the Salmon Kings were eliminated from the playoffs by the Utah Grizzlies in five games.

5th Anniversary emblem worn on their alternate uniforms in 2008-09.

The 2008–09 season started with the Salmon Kings raising their West Division Championship banner above the arena floor Mark Morrison added the GM's title to go along with his head coach title. Morrison then promoted Jeff Harris as the team's assistant general manager and hired the newly retired Ryan Wade as the team's assistant coach. The team continued their strong play from the previous season and this continued towards the All Star break with the team establishing a 15-game winning streak between December 8, 2008 and January 10, 2009, which was second all time in ECHL history. With a 26-9-1-2 record at the end of the streak, and well in first place in their division, another banner seemed well within reach. However, the team went 12-19-0-4 afterwards and dropped to third place, which ensured a Kelly Cup playoff first round match-up again the Idaho Steelheads. In the playoffs, the Salmon Kings swept their first ever series by eliminating the Steelheads in round one in four straight games. In the second round, the Salmon Kings were eliminated from the playoffs by their arch rivals, the Alaska Aces in five games. Their lone win was a 4-0 shutout on home ice, their second shutout of the playoffs. Despite their second straight second round elimination, the '08–'09 season saw a number of team records. Dylan Yeo became the first Salmon King player to win a league award, as he was awarded the Defenseman of the Year. Also, team captain Wes Goldie set a new team record with 48 goals, while also becoming the first Salmon King to collect 200 points with the team. Finally, the team broke their previous attendance record with an average of 4,923 fans per game, up from 4,871 the previous year and 4,248 in '06–'07.

The following year, General Manager and Head Coach Mark Morrison returned for his third full season as bench boss, while former Salmon King, Jeff Harris and Ryan Wade returned for their second years as Assistant General Manager and Assistant Coach respectively. The Salmon Kings would struggle in their first 10 games going 1-9-0-0, which placed them in last place of the National Conference standings and caused changes to their roster. However, on November 11, the Salmon Kings went on a 22-6-3-0 run in their next 31 games heading towards the ECHL All-Star break, which made Victoria the hottest team in the ECHL by accumulating the most wins and points through the 67 day stretch. The streak also included a 12-game overall winning streak and tying their previous club record with a 12-game home winning streak. The goaltending in the middle of season would see Glenn Fisher, along with three Abbotsford Heat netminders – David Shantz, Matt Keetley, and Leland Irving rotating starts, while Chad Painchaud, Olivier Latendresse and Wes Goldie led the offensive-attack during the stretch run. At the 2010 ECHL All-Star Game, goaltender, David Shantz was named as the starting goaltender for the National Conference, while defenceman and Victoria native, Taylor Ellington joined the roster. After the All-Star break, the Salmon Kings hot-streak would progressively come to an end when the team encountered several impactful injuries and call-ups in the second half of the season. The Salmon Kings would complete the season finishing with a 10-17-0-2 record and barely made the playoffs, finishing with a 34-32-4-2 and placing 7th in the National Conference standings. In the Kelly Cup playoffs, the Salmon Kings would play against the Bakersfield Condors in the first round of the best-of-five series. Victoria would win Games 1 and 3 to take a 2-1 series lead, but was unable to finish the Condors off, losing in the fifth-and-deciding game with the game-winning goal coming in the final minute of regulation at Rabobank Arena. The 2009-10 season produced many highlight moments and individual accomplishments. On January 15, the Salmon Kings played in their 400th game in club history. After that night, the trio of Adam Taylor, Scott Howes, and Dirk Southern combined for a highlight-reel goal vs. Bakersfield at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, which became known as "The Goal" and made TSN's Highlight of the Night [1]. In addition, the Salmon Kings also set franchise records such for most goals in a game (9) and fastest two goals (eight seconds apart). Furthermore, the Salmon Kings players also accomplished notable individual achievements, as well. On February 11, team captain Wes Goldie passed Ryan Wade's club record for most games played in a Salmon Kings uniform at 266 games. During this season, Chad Painchaud and Jimmy Sharrow broke a five-year old club record by scoring points in 14 and 12 straight games respectively. Painchaud would tie the franchise record goal scoring streak by scoring goals in five straight games, while veteran Olivier Filion would break the all-time club record with most games registering an assist doing so in seven games. Lastly, Jimmy Sharrow was named as in the ECHL All-Second Team honors at the end of the season.

Season-by-season record[edit]

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime losses, SOL = Shootout losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against

Season GP W L T OTL SOL Pts GF GA Finish Playoffs
2004–05 72 15 52 3 2 35 178 298 8th in West Did not qualify
2005–06 72 26 37 5 4 61 204 261 5th in West Did not qualify
2006–07 72 36 32 1 3 76 239 249 3rd in West Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 2–4 (Aces)
2007–08 72 42 23 4 3 91 256 239 1st in West Won in Conference Quarterfinals, 4–2 (Condors)
Lost in Conference Semifinals, 1–4 (Grizzlies)
2008–09 72 38 27 2 5 83 232 200 3rd in West Won in Conference Quarterfinals, 4–0 (Steelheads)
Lost in Conference Semifinals, 1–4 (Aces)
2009–10 72 34 32 4 2 74 230 243 4th in West Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 2–3 (Condors)
2010–11 72 32 36 2 2 68 217 234 4th in Mountain Won in Conference Quarterfinals, 3–1 (Condors)
Won in Conference Semifinals, 4–0 (Grizzlies)
Lost in Conference Finals, 0–4 (Aces)
Team totals 504 223 239 21 21 488 1556 1724 1 Division Title 0 Kelly Cup

Franchise records[edit]

Scoring leaders[edit]

These are the top-ten point-scorers in franchise history. Figures are updated after each completed ECHL regular season.

Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games Played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; P/G = Points per game * = still active with the team

Updated at completion of 2010–11 ECHL season

Player Pos GP G A Pts P/G
Wes Goldie RW 288 175 88 263 .91
Ryan Wade RW 265 57 113 170 .64
Milan Gajic RW 161 59 98 157 .98
Kiel McLeod C 153 56 67 123 .87
Adam Taylor RW 206 48 71 119 .58
Chad Painchaud RW 121 57 60 117 .97
Jordan Krestanovich LW 124 25 77 102 .80
Olivier Filion C 132 24 71 95 .71
Chris St. Jacques C 121 28 65 93 .77
Matt Kelly D 175 26 67 93 .53

Playoff scoring leaders[edit]

These are the top-ten playoff point-scorers in franchise history. Figures are updated after each completed ECHL regular season.

Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games Played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; P/G = Points per game * = still active with the team

Updated at completion of 2010–11 ECHL season

Player Pos GP G A Pts P/G
Wes Goldie RW 31 17 17 34 1.09
Milan Gajic RW 27 7 14 21 .78
Chad Painchaud RW 17 9 4 13 .76
Kiel McLeod C 21 7 6 13 .62
Matt Kelly D 23 1 12 13 .57
Patrick Coulombe D 26 1 11 12 .46
Rob Hennigar C 11 0 12 12 1.09
Ryan Wade RW 22 7 4 11 .50
Chris St. Jacques C 20 4 7 11 .55
Olivier Filion C 14 5 5 10 .71

Regular season[edit]

  • Most goals in a season: Wes Goldie, 48 (2008–09)
  • Most goals in a season by a rookie: Ryan Wade, 19 (2004–05) & Adam Taylor, 19 (2005–06)
  • Most assists in a season: Rob Hennigar, 54 (2010–11)
  • Most assists in a season by a rookie: Adam Taylor, 38 (2005–06)
  • Most points in a season: Ash Goldie, 83 (40g, 43a) (2007–08)
  • Most points in a season by a rookie: Adam Taylor, 57 (19g, 38a) (2005–06)
  • Most penalty minutes in a season: Blue Bennefield, 195 (2004–05)
  • Most goals in a season by a defenseman: Steve Lingren, 22 (2005–06)
  • Most assists in a season by a defenseman: Gary Gladue, 37 (2007–08)
  • Most points in a season by a defenseman: Steve Lingren, 47 (22g, 25a) (2005–06)
  • Most wins in a season: David Shantz, 25 (2010–11)
  • Most shutouts in a season: Todd Ford, 4 (2008–09)
  • Lowest goals against avg-(minimum 1000 minutes): Todd Ford, 2.64 (2008–09)
  • Highest save percentage-(minimum 1000 minutes): Todd Ford & Julien Ellis, 0.915 (2008–09)

Playoffs[edit]

  • Most goals in a playoff season: Wes Goldie, 6 (2006–07)
  • Most goals by a defenseman in a playoff season: Dylan Yeo, 4 (2007–08) & Jeff Caister, 4 (2010–11)
  • Most assists in a playoff season: Rob Hennigar, 12 (2010–11)
  • Most points in a playoff season: Wes Goldie, 13 (5g, 8a) (2007–08)
  • Most points by a defenseman in a playoff season: Jeff Caister, 8 (4g, 4a) (2010–11)
  • Most penalty minutes in a playoff season: Olivier Labelle, 32 (2008–09)
  • Most wins in a playoff season: David Shantz, 7 (2010–11)
  • Lowest goals against avg.: David Shantz, 2.41 (2010–11)

Team[edit]

  • Longest winning streak, one season: 15 (December 8, 2008 – January 10, 2009) (second all time in ECHL history)
  • Longest winless streak, one season: 20 (December 31, 2004 – February 4, 2005) (also the ECHL record)
  • Longest home winning streak, one season: 12 (December 9, 2008 - January 27, 2009) (November 14, 2009 - January 9, 2010)
  • Longest home winless streak, one season: 12 (December 31, 2004 – February 4, 2005) (also the ECHL record)
  • Most penalty minutes, both teams, one game: 306 (Victoria Salmon Kings (171) vs. Fresno Falcons (135), February 16, 2005) (also the ECHL record)

Leaders[edit]

Team captains[edit]

Head coaches[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dheenshaw, Cleve (May 7, 2011). "RG opts to fold Salmon Kings franchise". Times Colonist. Retrieved May 19, 2011. 

External links[edit]