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More about Ottawa Senators tickets
Though the recent chapter of the Ottawa Senators is relatively new – they joined the NHL in 1992, the club actually has a long and storied history. The original Senators franchise dates back to 1883, long before the NHL came to be. They won five Stanley Cups during the Challenge Cup era of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. They racked up 3 more between 1914 and 1926, an era where the Stanley Cup was contested between NHL clubs and PCHA/WHL/WCHL/NHA clubs. And they have the distinction of being the first club to hoist the Stanley Cup when only NHL clubs fought for the silver chalice.
After financial issues forced the club to relocate to St. Louis, where they changed their nickname to the Eagles, the club only survived in the NHL for one more season before folding.
The Current Ottawa Senators
With a hockey-mad fan base it was only a matter of time before NHL hockey returned to Ottawa once more. In 1992, the Senators (re)joined the league, along with expansion cousins the Tampa Bay Lightning. The new version of the Senators would get off to an impressive start, winning their inaugural game at the Ottawa Civic Centre by a 5-2 score over the Montreal Canadiens. However, that was the only highlight of an otherwise horrendous season. The team compiled a record of 10-70-4, finishing with a paltry 24, good enough for a tie for last place with the equally dreadful San Jose Sharks.
Their terrible finish did come with one benefit: they secured the first overall draft pick that year. However, in what has turned out to be one of the biggest draft busts in NHL history, they selected Alexandre Daigle, passing over both Chris Pronger and Paul Kariya in the process. The Senators would compound this grievous error by signing Daigle to a 5 year, $12.25 million contract, a record sum for a rookie at the time. Daigle would go on to put up 51 points in his rookie year, a respectable if unspectacular total. Unfortunately for the Sens that would be the highest single season point total of his career.
The Senators continued to dwell in the NHL’s basement for the next couple of seasons, but their drafting slowly improved. 1994’s Radek Bonk was a disappointment, but the subsequent draftings of Bryan Berard (traded for Wade Redden), Chris Phillips (who still wears an Ottawa Senators jersey) and Marian Hossa would eventually pave the way for a team that could be competitive.
Though there was plenty of hype around their high draft picks, the Sens’ best move at the draft table was undoubtedly the 1994 pick of Daniel Alfredsson. Selected 133rd overall that year, the Swedish Star has gone on to become the franchise’s all-time leader in all major statistical categories, and has been the team’s captain for several seasons now.
Although there were more failed experiments to come – Alexei Yashin and Dominik Hasek just to name a couple – the Senators, under the tutelage of head coach Jacques Martin, eventually became one of the premier teams in the NHL. The enjoyed great regular season success in the first half of the 2000’s. However, they couldn’t seem to carry their winning ways into the playoffs and the hopes of Sens fans were crushed year after year as the Senators were bounced from the playoffs by the hated Toronto Maple Leafs, or another statistically inferior team.
In 2006 the team almost managed to exorcise its demons, reaching the Stanley Cup Finals before bowing out the Anaheim Ducks. That playoff run would turn out to be the peak for the Senators, and the team has dropped steadily in the standings ever since.
Now the club is in rebuilding mode. The loss of stars like Dany Heatler, Zdeno Chara and Wade Redden has taken its toll, and the Sens find themselves in the middle of the pack. This season looks like it could be an improvement over last year. Star defenseman Sergei Gonchar will be wearing an Ottawa Senators sweater this season, and increased production from young stars like Nick Foligno and Milan Michalek will help take the pressure off vets Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Alex Kovalev.