VICTORIA, CANADA -- The Victoria Salmon Kings, a long time rival of the Idaho Steelheads, have officially withdrawn from the ECHL.
The Salmon Kings received the leagues full approval from its Board of Governors and will no longer be the ECHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks and Manitoba Moose.
Victoria had been a part of the league since the 2004 season playing 504 regular season games and an additional 43 Kelly Cup Playoff contests.
The reason the Salmon Kings are leaving the league is primarily because its ownership group purchased a Western Hockey League (WHL) team with the intention of moving them to Victoria, therefore leaving the Salmon Kings homeless.
The loss of Victoria means the ECHL's Western Conference is down to only seven teams.
League officials have not announced whether or not they will add another team to the conference at this time.
There has been some speculation a team could return to Fresno, California, but there has not been any reports the city or the league are interested in bringing a team back to the San Joaquin Valley.
The Fresno Falcons were the last team in the area, but they folded during the 2008 ECHL season.