As the Ottawa Junior Senators prepare for their annual evaluation camp this coming weekend at the Jim Durrell Recreation Complex the usual focus is on replacing the many players moving on to NCAA, CIS or OHL programs. However, this off-season, Head Coach and General Manager Martin Dagenais is also faced with the task of searching for some talent behind the bench as well as two vital pieces will not be returning for the 2019-2020 hockey season.
Long-time Trainer and Equipment Manager Gerry Savage, along with Assistant Coach Ryan Garlock have both departed for personal reasons and will need to be replaced in time for puck drop in September.
Savage will be moving to Beckwith township, making the regular drive to Walkley Road for practices and games impossible. He leaves behind years of dedicated service to the coaching staff and players. His unique talents included many long hours behind the scenes dealing with player injury and recovery as well as sharpening hundreds of pairs of skates and ensuring that all Junior Senators equipment was in good shape.
“Gerry will be sorely missed. His commitment to the organization was phenomenal and he was always willing to do anything to help the players and coaches.” commented Dagenais. “It is a huge loss for us for sure.”
Ryan Garlock has also elected to leave the club following another strong season to pursue other hockey-related interests. Garlock was instrumental in the team’s power-play success over the last two years and brought his extensive professional playing experience to the bench during games.
Dagenais was disappointed to lose Garlock whom he feels was developing into a fine coach. “Ryan was a tremendous addition to our staff. He brought unique ideas to the power-play and communicated very effectively with the players. Garzy’s help in so many different areas was definitely a contributing factor in our reaching the National Championships the last two years.”
Dagenais doen’t seem to be in a big hurry to find his new staff. “I’ve got a few people in mind but my focus right now is on getting through our Evaluation Camp this weekend. I don’t want to rush these decisions. I want to make sure the individuals are the right fit for the organization.”
The Ottawa Junior Senators Evaluation Camp runs May 31-June 2 at the Jim Durrell Recreation Complex culminating in an All-Star Game Sunday at 3:00 pm.