WHL coming to Victoria, press conference Wednesday

Salmon Kings play through firestorm

RG Properties and the Western Hockey League are co-hosting a media gathering at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on Wednesday, likely to confirm what everyone expects is already official: the Chilliwack Bruins relocation to Victoria for the 2011-12 season.

In hopes of wrestling the city’s attention away from the WHL, the Salmon Kings players took matters into their own hands on Monday, ahead of the major press conference.

Players addressed the city with a plea through the media.

“We can’t control what happens with the WHL or the Salmon Kings future, but we can control what happens in the (ECHL) playoffs,” defenceman Jeff Caister said.

The Salmon Kings continue their second round playoff series at 7:05 p.m., Wednesday night versus the Utah Grizzlies.

Beyond their playoff run, however, RG will likely return membership of the Salmon Kings to the ECHL. There is little to no market for ECHL teams, with franchises having also returned their membership to the league in recent years.

Victoria has been without major junior hockey since Cougars owner Rick Brodsky moved the team to Prince George following the 1993-94 season.

The Bruins move to Victoria has been no secret as news of the sale was leaked in early March.

Abiding by a confidentiality agreement, RG Properties refused to comment on the matter, as did the Bruins majority owners, Brian Burke, Glen Sather and Daryl Porter.