Ottawa, ON – The Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) Board of Governors approved Tuesday the membership transfer of the Ottawa Jr. Senators from Martin Dagenais to Chris Martin and Eloise Erickson.
Chris and Eloise reside in Orléans, Ontario with their son Cayden. Chris has spent the last five seasons scouting for OJS while Cayden played for the Ottawa Jr. Senators U18 program during the 2017-18 season.
A former player himself, Chris was an assistant coach with three different CCHL teams over the years, winning a championship with OJS in 1993. He has spent the last 13 seasons coaching in various minor hockey associations. He is excited to take over the reigns of what has been the CCHL’s most successful franchise over the last decade.
“Having the opportunity to take on an ownership role of one of the more prominent and successful Junior A teams in the country is nothing but a complete honour.”
“Fans and players alike can expect that I and the rest of the OJS staff will be committed to carrying on this success by continuing to recruit good character individuals who play the game the “right” way, and helping players continue to get better and push them to that next level.”
As for Dagenais, he will remain a minority partner with OJS as well as an alternate governor for the next three years, but he will step away from hockey operations as he was recently named head coach of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the Québec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).
Dagenais and his family bought the team just before the 2014-15 season, and under his tutelage the Junior Senators compiled an incredible record of 329-111-38. They finished first in their division every year but one and participated in every Bogart Cup Finals since the 2015-16 season, winning four CCHL championship.
“I’m happy to be moving on with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies but at the same time, it’s not easy to say goodbye to all my friends in Ottawa. We had a good run, but now is the time for me to give the reigns of the team to someone who will bring new ideas, and hopefully keep OJS at the top of the standings. I wish all the best to Chris Martin and his wife Eloise as the new owners of the franchise.”
When asked how OJS was able to ice competitive teams year after year in one of the league’s smallest markets, Dagenais points out to the people that surround him, which includes the coaches and players, but also the volunteers, billet families and the parents. He also mentions that there is certain way to do things, and when things are done the right way, players want to come to your team.
“It takes a large group of people to create the right culture. We were able to do this in Ottawa because we all cared about OJS. If you run your team to try and make as much money as you can, you will not succeed. People will see right through you. For us, it was important to do things for the right reasons, and we were rewarded with four championships because of it.”
Jamie Mayo, who has been Dagenais’ right-hand man since the team reached his first final in 2016 will not be returning as the team’s general manager. Over the years, Mayo filled various positions with OJS, mostly as an associate coach, but recently as the team’s GM where he was the architect of the teams that won the last two Bogart Cups.
Chris Martin is now the director of hockey operations, and former assistant coach Stuart Battrick will be the general manager. A new coaching staff will be announced next week before the teams hits the ice on September 6th for the start of main camp.