CHL Press Release
Toronto, Ontario – The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and Eugene Melnyk, owner of the St. Michael’s Majors Hockey Club, today announced his purchase of the Mississauga IceDogs Hockey Club from majority owner, Mario Forgione.
Melnyk’s ownership of the IceDogs is structured as an interim measure that will eventually see the transfer of the club to a new, strategically aligned market deemed satisfactory to the Ontario Hockey League. During this interim period, the IceDogs and the Majors will continue to play out of their current, respective arenas. Upon completion of this transition, Melnyk will relocate the Majors to Mississauga’s Hershey Centre, ensuring his longstanding commitment to secure a larger, more updated arena for the team, while still serving junior hockey fans in the Greater Toronto Area.
“The prospect of continuing junior hockey in a vibrant and hockey-rich city like Mississauga is very exciting,” said Melnyk. “I remain committed to continuing the great legacy of the St. Michael’s Majors and look forward to working closely with the community, Mayor Hazel McCallion and all levels of hockey to build upon the passion and excitement of junior hockey fans that currently exists in Mississauga.”
“Over the years, Eugene has developed a strong affinity and appreciation for the City of Mississauga and its citizens. He is one of Canada’s most accomplished business leaders and our community has benefited directly from his successful entrepreneurship in a very tangible and meaningful way. We know how deep his commitment is to our community. That community commitment, along with his love and passion for hockey, is a great formula for success. Our city couldn’t be more excited about welcoming Eugene and the Majors to our hockey community,” said Mayor McCallion.
The OHL unanimously and conditionally approved the sale at its June board of governors meeting held in Toronto. The sale agreement will see all hockey operations-related aspects of Melnyk’s ownership of the IceDogs held in a blind trust that, among other things, prevents any player movement between both teams during his ownership of both clubs.
“This transfer of ownership resulted from the diligence and creative goodwill demonstrated by Mario and Eugene,” said David Branch, commissioner of the OHL. “Both are to be commended for bringing forward a unique and strategic ownership proposal that supports the overall mandate and long-term success of the OHL.”
Commissioner Branch also announced the OHL will appoint an independent governor for the IceDogs in the coming weeks. “This appointment will ensure the IceDogs retain a strong management and operations capacity while preserving the full integrity of the blind trust arrangement committed to by Mr. Melnyk,” Branch said.