Salmon Kings players: ‘Our time is now’

Salmon Kings host Utah Wednesday for Game 3

Rob Hennigar addresses the media in a players-staged media conference at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on Monday.

Rob Hennigar addresses the media in a players-staged media conference at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on Monday.

Amid all the distraction of the WHL coming to Victoria, the Salmon Kings players had a message for Victoria: don’t forget about us.

While the WHL and RG Properties will hold a press conference on Wednesday (April 20) likely announcing the relocation of the Chilliwack Bruins to Victoria for 2011-12, the Salmon Kings’ players held a press conference of their own today (April 18).

In preparation for Game 3 against the Utah Grizzlies tonight, Kings’ players called on Victoria “to support the team.”

“We have a chance to do something special. We want home ice to be a place to share our success with Victoria. We’re here (today) for our fans and want everyone on board,” assistant captain Rob Hennigar said.

Hennigar took the floor in front of a healthy gathering of Victoria media and the entire team of players behind him in support.

The Kings are on a four-game win streak, all on the road, but with both the WHL’s arrival and ECHL’s demise in Victoria, the players felt it was time to personally remind the city the bandwagon is picking up passengers.

“For us, the time is now,” Hennigar said.

The seventh-seed Kings are up 2-0 in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series with Utah (sixth-seed) having already upset the second-seed Bakersfield Condors in the opening round.

“To be on a playoff run is more rare than some fans realize,” defenceman Jeff Caister said. As for the WHL, Caister added: “We’re not worried about anything past this year. Utah’s our only concern right now.

“We’re peaking at the right time. The guys are having fun, getting some fans in the house pumps us up.”

Hennigar made a similar statement right from the start, empathizing with fans over this year’s dip in attendance at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.

“The support’s been great and we know our home record hasn’t been. We want to (win) for the city.”

The Salmon Kings host the Grizzlies for Game 3 tonight (April 20), Game 4 Friday and, if necessary, Game 5 on Saturday. All games are at 7:05 p.m. at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. If necessary, Games 6 and 7 go Monday (April 25) and Wednesday (April 27) in Utah.