Realty One


Wednesday, January 30, 2013


OTTAWA, Ont. - The Ottawa CFL expansion team named Marcel Desjardins as its general manager Wednesday.

Desjardins joins the yet unnamed Ottawa franchise after serving the last four seasons as the assistant general manager of the Montreal Alouettes.

"I'm delighted that one of the CFL's most experienced and accomplished football operations leaders has agreed to become the architect of our new team,'' Jeff Hunt, president of the Ottawa Sports Entertainment Group, said in a statement. "As an assistant general manager with the Montreal Alouettes, Marcel played a major role in the design of three Grey Cup-winning rosters and he oversaw one of the league's most effective football operations teams.

"He has an ideal skillset that'll only grow in his new role with us, and I can't wait to see the fruits of his labour when we kick off a new era of CFL football in Ottawa in the summer of 2014.''

Desjardins, a native of Burlington, Ont., served as the general manager of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2007 before returning to Montreal the following season.

"I'm honoured and humbled by this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a CFL team from the ground up,'' Desjardins said. "Jeff Hunt and the other team owners are committed to re-establishing a winning football tradition in Ottawa and re-igniting fan passions, and to be able to contribute to that process is a dream come true.''

The hiring of Desjardins in Ottawa is hardly a surprise as he's been mentioned as a leading candidate for the GM post for roughly the last eight months.

It's the second significant blow this off-season to the Alouettes football operations department.

Earlier this month, head coach Marc Trestman left Montreal to become head coach of the NFL's Chicago Bears.

"On behalf of the Montreal Alouettes, I first want to congratulate Marcel for obtaining the job in Ottawa and second, to thank him for a fantastic job in the way he has serviced the Montreal Alouettes,'' Montreal GM Jim Popp said in a statement. "Marcel is a real hero in the organization who doesn't get nearly enough thank yous that should go his way.''

Desjardins, 46, also spent time working in the CFL's head office in Toronto from 1994 to '99.

The Ottawa franchise is slated to begin play in 2014 and Desjardins will have plenty of work ahead of him.

Ottawa will select four NCAA underclassmen in this year's CFL draft before participating in December in a three-round expansion draft of players made available from the existing eight clubs. Then in 2014, the club will take part in the league's Canadian college draft

Ottawa has been without a CFL franchise since 2006 when the Renegades were suspended after four seasons by the league because of financial instability. The Renegades were born seven years after the storied Ottawa Rough Riders folded operations.

The new Ottawa franchise will operate with a new name, as a condition of the city's return to the CFL was that the new club not use the Rough Riders team name.

© 2013 The Canadian Press


Anonymous said...

Ottawa Football Club was organized on Wednesday, September, 20th, 1876. The Club adopted the name Rough Riders on Friday September, 9th, 1898. I should know, I was there, sincerely, the ghost of Rough Riders past. Roughriders???? sorry, we had the moniker first.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but when you cease to exist you lose the right to the name

Anonymous said...

Dear Ghost of Rough Riders past,

We grieved your passing in 1996 and are sad to hear that you’re still stuck in purgatory, because you are still unable to get over it, and are making exhaustive and feeble attempts to continue to resurrect yourself as a football team under new namesake(s). Just be gracious that the Roughrider moniker lives on in a better place.

Yours truly - currently and forever,

Rider Nation (Roughriders)

Anonymous said...

If you cease to exist, you lose your right to the name? I thought the allies won the war in, I'll have to research that now. So much for freedom of speech eh.

Yours truly Forever
Rider Nation ( with paper bag over my head)

Anonymous said...

Ottawa Rough Riders, good name. Regina Rugby Club, good name.

Anonymous said...

To end this debate we must seek the wisdom of the great stupefier Obama. Surely he can put an end to this debate.

Anonymous said...

When the Rough Riders folded, the owner of the team still owned the trademark for that team name. The Roughriders purchased the trademark from him and own it. Ottawa can’t use the Rough Riders name because the Roughriders own the rights to that name.

Like it’s mentioned above, the moniker lives on in a better place

Anonymous said...

It's plain to see, that some of the banjo pickers cannot differentiate or opine between Rough Riders and Roughriders and the respective club histories.

Anonymous said...

Anon # 2, does that also apply to yourself when you cease to exist ?