OJS Coach Profile: Peter Campbell

by Brian Rappleyea

Seventeen games into the 2023-24 season, the new coaching staff of the Ottawa Junior Senators is beginning to shape their young team. Headed by Charlie Lavigne, he has brought over a familiar face in Peter Campbell, with whom he worked last year with the Hawkesbury Hawks.

Campbell was the coach of the Hawks’ U18 team, but when that league disbanded, he was without a coaching job, although he was content to be a father and watch hockey.

“I worked with Charlie last year and spoke with him the same day he got the (OJS) job,” Campbell said. “We value the same thing as coaches and I’m always learning as an assistant coach.”

With a playing career that spanned a little more than decade and a half, Campbell has played in various countries: Canada, USA, England, Germany, Northern Ireland, Denmark, and Italy, and has gained various perspectives on the game and how it is approached with this experience.

A lefty shooting center, a portion of Campbell’s career was with the Gloucester Rangers, now known as the Rockland Nationals, when he tallied 41 points (18G, 23A) during the 1995-96 season. After that, it was on to the OHL, where he would play with the Sudbury Wolves, Owen Sound Platers, Belleville Bulls, and Erie Otters. During his time in the OHL, Campbell’s high point total would be 88 (45G, 43A) with Owen Sound in the 1998/99 season.

With experience on the ice at a high level, prior experience with the head coach, and a sharing of values as coaches, the addition of Campbell to the coaching staff was an easy one for the team, especially given the various changes to the organization in the off season.

“Coming in, the transition happened so quickly with ownership and we realized we would be a younger team on top of that too. Wins and losses are not necessarily a measurement of success, but success is in the improvement of the team,” said Campbell on OJS.

“Veteran players such as Jacob Winsor (‘04 birth year), Mathis Bedard, and Anthony Menard (both born in 2003) are huge for us on the blue line. Scoring three goals in a game gives our team a good chance to win.”

Currently, the squad has a record 9 wins, 6 losses, and 2 overtime losses for 20 points for fourth in the Yzerman Division and sixth overall in the CCHL. And while improvement is the measuring stick for the team, not necessarily wins and losses, that improvement has translated into success in the standings, as well. OJS has won six of its last seven games while scoring 28 goals (4 per-game) and surrendering only 16 (2.28 per-game), with the veteran presence providing stability on the blue line.

In addition to his duties as an assistant coach, Campbell is a General Contractor of his own company, Peter Campbell Incorporated, which works with steel, and has four kids with his wife Tanya: Deklyn (who plays for the Hawkesbury Hawks), Lincoln, Evelyn, and Payton.