Ottawa Senators

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Team Jersey
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National Hockey League
Bryan Murray, 2004-
General Manager
John Muckler, 2002-
Most Games
Radek Bonk: 686
Most Points
Daniel Alfredsson: 568
First Game
Ottawa 5 - 3 Montreal
(Ottawa; October 8, 1992)
Largest win
Ottawa 9 - 1 New York Rangers
(Ottawa; January 24, 2003)
Largest defeat
Ottawa 0 - 10 Calgary
(Calgary; January 15, 1994)

Ottawa 1 - 11 St. Louis
(Ottawa; February 26, 1994)

Stanley Cups
Winners: 0

The Ottawa Senators are an ice hockey team based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. They play in the National Hockey League.

Founded: 1992-1993 (franchise awarded December 6, 1990)
Arena: Corel Centre (capacity 18,500)
Uniform colours: black, red, gold, white
Logo design: Roman legionnaire
Division titles won: 3 (1998-99, 2000-01, 2002-03)
President's Trophies won: 1 (2003)
League championships won: 0
Minor league affiliate(s): Binghamton Senators
Rival(s): Toronto Maple Leafs

Original Franchise

The greatest team of the early days of hockey, the original Ottawa Senators franchise was based in Ottawa from 1901 to 1934. They competed in the Canadian Amateur Hockey League, the National Hockey Association and the National Hockey League and won a total of nine Stanley Cups, starting back in the days where the Cup was still a challenge trophy. The team had several nicknames -- most famously, the Silver Seven of early hockey legend -- but was generally known throughout its history as the Senators. The names of the team's players resound through hockey legend -- Frank McGee, King Clancy, Harry Westwick, Bruce Ridpath, Clint Benedict, Alex Connell, Frank Nighbor, Cy Denneny, and many others. A full thirty of the team's players would be elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Senators were a founding team of both the NHA and the NHL, and won four more Cups in the NHL days, three against western league teams, the last in 1927 against the Boston Bruins after the NHL had secured sole ownership of the trophy. However, the term "small-market franchise" is by no means a new one, and as the NHL's smallest market by far, even as early as 1927 Ottawa sought financial relief from the league. The team slowly sold its stars to other clubs, and with the Great Depression striking, peddled superstar defenseman King Clancy for an unprecedented $35,000 in 1930. Even that was not enough, and the franchise suspended operations for the 1932 season.

The Senators returned the season thereafter, but depleted of talent, finished with poor records its two remaining seasons in Ottawa. The once-proud franchise relocated to St. Louis and played its final season 1934-1935 as the St. Louis Eagles.

This franchise has no relation to the modern-day Senators franchise.

Career Leaders (1917-1934)

List of Stanley Cup final appearances by Ottawa based teams

Original Ottawa Senators Year-by-Year Record (NHL only)

1917-18--9-13--0--0---102-114--18-3rd, NHL--Out
1918-19-12--6--0--0----71--53--24-1st, NHL--Lost Final
1919-20-18--5--0--0---121--64--38-1st, NHL--Won Cup
1920-21-14-10--0--0----97--75--28-2nd, NHL--Won Cup
1921-22-14--8--2--0---106--85--30-1st, NHL--Lost Final
1922-23-14--9--1--0----77--54--29-1st, NHL--Won Cup
1923-24-16--8--0--0----54--32--32-1st, NHL--Lost Final
1924-25-17-12--1--0----83--66--35-4th, NHL--Out
1925-26-24--8--4--0----77--42--52-1st, NHL--Lost Final
1926-27-30-10--4--0----86--69--64-1st, CD---Won Cup
1927-28-20-14-10--0----78--57--50-3rd, CD---Lost QF
1928-29-14-17-13--0----54--67--41-4th, CD---Out
1929-30-21-15--8--0---138-118--50-3rd, CD---Lost QF
1930-31-10-30--4--0----91-142--24-5th, CD---Out
1932-33-11-27-10--0----88-131--32-5th, CD---Out
1933-34-13-29--6--0---115-143--32-5th, CD---Out

QF = Quarter Final, CD = Canadian Division

Current Franchise

The NHL's planned 1992 expansion had several strong contenders, but original owner Bruce Firestone put together an energetic bid, using the last surviving original Senator, Frank Finnigan, as its public face. The new-look Senators won one of the two slots (along with the Tampa Bay Lightning) and began play in 1992.

Unfortunately, as with the Lightning (who many felt won its bid over a more favored St. Petersburg group by virtue of its leadership of NHL great Phil Esposito), PR could not disguise the lack of talent. The modern-day Senators played their first game in the Ottawa Civic Centre, a small arena by professional standards, seating approximately 10,500, and beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-3. Tragically, Finnigan died before the team started play, and the win against the Habs was the last bit of glory the new Senators would see; they lost more games in the 1993 season (70) than any team ever had, and suffered through several miserable seasons thereafter.

Two major things happened for the Ottawa Senators in January 1996: Jacques Martin became their head coach and they moved into a new arena, the 18,500-seat Palladium (now known as the Corel Centre) in Kanata, a former suburb of Ottawa and now part of the city of Ottawa. While Ottawa finished the 95-96 season with a poor record, it marked the start of a remarkable franchise turnaround. Daniel Alfredsson became the first Senator to win the Calder Trophy. The 96-97 season saw the Senators make the playoffs for the first time, where they lost a thrilling seven-game series to the Buffalo Sabres.

The Senators won their first playoff series following the 1997-98 season, defeating the New Jersey Devils in six games.

Ottawa was locked in a contract dispute with Alexei Yashin during the 1999-2000 season. Yashin held out for the entire season, but it was ruled that he still owed the Senators a year. The regular season was successful, as they finished with 93 points, in second place, however a 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs ended the playoffs quickly. Yashin played during the 2000-2001 season, but was traded in summer 2001 to the New York Islanders for Zdeno Chara, Bill Muckalt and the Islanders' first round, and second overall, pick, which the Senators used to draft Jason Spezza. The Senators lost again to the Maple Leafs in the first round, this time in a 4-0 sweep, where they were repeatedly stymied by Leafs' goaltender Curtis Joseph.

The Senators finished the 2001-02 season with 94 points, in third place. In the playoffs, they defeated the Philadelphia Flyers for the franchise's second playoff series win, but fell again to their nemesis, the Maple Leafs, in a tense seven-game affair.

The Senators filed for bankruptcy on January 9, 2003, after a long history of debt. They continued regular season play after getting some emergency financing from the NHL. Despite the off-ice problems, Ottawa won the President's Cup in the 2002-03 season, finishing with a league-best 113 points. In the playoffs they defeated the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers before falling to the eventual Stanley Cup champions, and came within one game of the Stanley Cup final before being defeated by the New Jersey Devils. In September 2003, the team was purchased by pharmaceutical magnate Eugene Melnyk.

Ottawa has made the playoffs every year since their original visit, however, they have had limited success, having won only four series in their eight trips to the postseason, including several consecutive losses to the Maple Leafs, leading to a heated rivalry between the two teams.

In the first round of the 2004 NHL playoffs, the Senators lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs for the 4th time in 5 years. Ottawa had developed a strong rivalry with their Ontario cousins and there was a great deal of pressure on the team to finally defeat their archrivals. Two days after the Senators' loss, Jacques Martin was fired. He had been coach of the Senators for 8 and a half years. Martin was widely respected, had a 341-255-96 regular season record with the Senators and had led the team to eight consecutive playoff appearances, and was widely credited with changing the team into a strong league leader. However, after losing eight of twelve playoff series, including four straight to the Maple Leafs, team management felt that a new coach was required for playoff success.

On June 8, 2004, Bryan Murray became the team's fifth head coach.

See also: List of Ottawa Senators captains, Head Coaches of the Ottawa Senators

Current Ottawa Senators Year-by-Year Record

1992-93-10-70--4--0---202-395--24-6th, AdD---Out
1993-94-14-61--9--0---201-397--37-7th, NED---Out
1994-95--9-34--5--0---117-174--23-7th, NED---Out
1995-96-18-59--5--0---191-291--41-6th, NED---Out
1996-97-31-36-15--0---226-234--77-3rd, NED---Lost CQF
1997-98-34-33-15--0---193-200--83-5th, NED---Lost CSF
1998-99-44-23-15--0---239-179-103-1st, NED---Lost CQF
1999-00-41-28-11--2---244-210--95-2nd, NED---Lost CQF
2000-01-48-21--9--4---274-205-109-1st, NED---Lost CQF
2001-02-39-27--9--7---243-208--94-3rd, NED---Lost CSF
2002-03-51-21--9--1---263-182-113-1st, NED---Lost CF
2003-04-43-23-10--6---262-189-102-3rd, NED---Lost CQF

CQF = Conference Quarter Finals, CSF = Conference Semi Finals, CF = Conference Finals, AdD = Adams Division, NED = Northeast Division

Players of Note

Hall of Famers:

  • None

Current players:

Not to be forgotten:

Retired Numbers:


Ottawa Senators official web site (

National Hockey League
Current Teams : Anaheim | Atlanta | Boston | Buffalo | Calgary | Carolina | Chicago | Colorado | Columbus | Dallas | Detroit | Edmonton | Florida | Los Angeles | Minnesota | Montreal | Nashville | New Jersey | NY Islanders | NY Rangers | Ottawa | Philadelphia | Phoenix | Pittsburgh | San Jose | St. Louis | Tampa Bay | Toronto | Vancouver | Washington
Trophies and Awards: Stanley Cup | Prince of Wales | Clarence S. Campbell | Presidents' Trophy | Art Ross | Bill Masterton | Calder | Conn Smythe | Hart | Norris | King Clancy | Lady Byng | Lester B. Pearson Award | Rocket Richard | Plus/Minus | Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award | Jennings | Vezina
Related Articles: AHL | ECHL | WHA | World Cup

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