By Cleve Dheensaw
Victoria Times Colonist
VICTORIA, British Columbia – Hockey is sort of like reincarnation. You meet the same people over and over again.
Victoria Salmon Kings teammates Rob Voltera, Peter Trumbley and Ryan Wade played in an Island Bantam AAA championship final in the 1990s at Sooke Arena, with Voltera and Trumbley’s Campbell River team beating Wade’s Victoria side.
That Campbell River Bantam team’s goaltender was Matt Underhill, who was called up last season to the NHL and got in games with the Chicago Blackhawks.
“When you come up playing AAA rep, it’s a circle of people you meet again and again down the line and that circle gets bigger in junior when you meet some of those people later in pro and it sort of comes full circle,” said Wade, who also faced Voltera in the major-junior WHL.
That’s further fortified on the ECHL pro Salmon Kings by former Memorial Cup-winning WHL coach Bryan Maxwell’s strong regional connections.
The Salmon Kings is the lone Canadian team in the ECHL and the only one of the 28 franchises with an all-Canadian roster. Even more specifically, that roster is almost all from Western Canada.
“There’s a lot of pride here in that we’re all Western Canadian guys, with two guys [Ontarians Jeff Williams and Brad Dexter] who we’ve adopted as Westerners,” said Voltera.