By Brian Trota, Brant Beacon
With the sale of the Paris PJHL franchise to the Titan Capital Group finalized earlier this year, the new leadership group composed of Jon Clark and Mike Christian will be leveraging their decades of hockey and business management expertise to ice a winner.
Christian, a hockey player across various leagues including the OHL and the ECHL, as well as a coach in junior hockey for over 20 years leading teams in Caledonia, Dundas, and, Glanbrook, felt it was about timing when it came to the purchase.
“We talked to various groups and franchises around the southern Ontario area when we found out that the Paris team was available, and we really [honed] in on that, because we love the community. “Christian then notes, “Jon has some roots in town. The community is on the rise. It’s just a good fit all the way around with the franchise, we think that there’s a lot of potential here for a lot of growth and opportunity. So, we want to do the best we can with the community here.”
The sale was a smooth one and Christian praised former owner Todd Wood.
“He provided us with everything that we needed to get started. He gave us some guidance and he was very helpful in the transition process [and] from the PJHL standpoint, he made sure that the information was there in order get the deal done at the end of the day,” said Christian.
However, there are some key goals that the new ownership teams want to achieve in their first season at the helm in 2023-24.
“We definitely want to put together a tougher team, that’s our number one goal as well as bringing in local kids–we’d love the opportunity to get them playing junior hockey in their hometown. I think it’s really important to draw the talent back in so you can engage with the community to rally around the game; this is always one of the initiatives for me.” Christian continues, “We have an overall goal of being at the top end of our division and competing in our conference. And then let’s see if we can get into a final run.”
Christian, who won the J. Ross Robertson Cup with the Barrie Colts of the OHL in 1999/2000, is relocating to Paris with his family in August and is looking forward to putting his experiences to the test.
“I enjoy the prospect of having a vision and creating something unique and that started when we decided to do the rebranding. I know it’s not something that’s ultra-popular right now, but I think that once we get things going, people are going to see our excitement and our enthusiasm for the product that we’re going to provide,” said Christian. “As we go along, people will join us, celebrating the successes. And we will work together to improve and get better all around.”