Blog Entry

Sens celebrate '20-year' anniversary, look ahead

Posted on: August 10, 2011 3:47 pm

By Brian Stubits

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the rebirth of the Ottawa Senators franchise (19th season thanks to the lockout). Is there another team that has ever had such a rich history to honor in a "20-year" celebration? Methinks not.

That's because the Sens aren't celebrating just the last 20 years. No, they are also basking in the glow of the original Senators, the team that played from 1883 to 1954 and racked up 11 Stanley Cups stretching through the Silver Seven era to the official adoption of the Senators nickname. Clearly they are taking some liberties here, but that's OK.

After all, it's a rich history indeed. And it hasn't been too bad since the team was reborn in 1992-93 either. Take into consideration that right now the Sens are in the clichéd rebuilding mode. This is the first time they have truly had to "rebuild." The only other time the franchise went through this tough a stretch was when it was just starting out. An awful, awful stretch. But that was just the building phase. Now they rebuild.

It isn't something they are used to in Ottawa, suffering through growing pains. That's what makes this celebration season so perfect for timing. It's going to help (only very slightly) ease the pain of a struggling team. How can videos like this not help?

The buzz word is heritage. The team will wear retro jerseys (not historic, just retro ... this sweater was never worn) for select games this season (seen at the top) and everything will likely culminate in the All-Star Game, hosted by Ottawa.

While that's all well and good, all of the celebration, it's not what the big fans will truly be looking for. They want to see the future of hockey in the city, not the past. The future that seems pretty bright.

Last season's Calder Cup champions, the Binghamton Senators, are a large source of the inspiration. You can expect to see a few of those players being slated into the big Senators lineup this season like Zack Smith and Erik Condra. Then you have prospects like Mark Stone, who was turning heads at Canada's junior national team tryouts, and Mika Zibanejad, who I personally love as a prospect and who is a candidate to jump right to the NHL.

Count Sens veteran Jason Spezza among the excited.

"It doesn't matter if a lot of people don't know who these guys are. They have lots of time to make names for themselves," Spezza told "We can be a good team and compete with some of the best teams. And then for them to go and win [the Calder Cup] ... the chemistry that they'll get there, hopefully it'll carry over to our room and we can make it a really cohesive team. I think that'll be the biggest thing, just the camaraderie and the chemistry. They've won together and [they've shown] they know how to win together."

So the future is exciting. There is something to wait for in Ottawa. But for now, the team will still be led by the veterans like Spezza and career Senator Daniel Alfredsson, who is past his prime at this point but still effective when healthy. Those two helped give the modern-day Senators their best season in 2006-07 when they anchored the top line with Dany Heatley and took Ottawa to the Stanley Cup Finals.

But it's somewhat astonishing the Senators had the playoff run they did with all the troubles the franchise had. They made the playoffs 11 seasons in a row and 12 of 13, but all the while they went through trade demands (Heatley), miserable contracts (Alex Daigle) and terrible slips (letting Zdeno Chara go). Not to mention a bankruptcy filing. That all came after the franchise's first season with a 10-70-4 record.

While they embark on a season honoring the heritage of Ottawa hockey, the birthplace of the Cup as they say, the Senators usher in a new era. Welcome rookie head coach Paul MacLean, who comes over from Detroit to replace the fired Cory Clouston (Alexei Kovalev's BFF).

"If I can come in and have a good, strong camp, it'll set the tone for a lot of guys and show that we can compete for a playoff spot," Spezza said. "And once you get into the playoffs, you never know what can happen. So I'm looking forward to the challenge of having a young team and having to be good every night."

Which the Senators likely won't be. That makes the timing of this celebration seem so perfect. It gives the Senators some positive pub (but not all fans like it) while they grow.

Photo: Icethetics

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 2:37 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Nov 4, 2006
Posted on: August 13, 2011 10:54 pm

Sens celebrate '20-year' anniversary, look ahead

Sickening the defeat a young Daniel had at the Cujo-led Leafs!

Since: Jul 7, 2011
Posted on: August 13, 2011 2:42 pm

Sens celebrate '20-year' anniversary, look ahead

Sensies where 0-4 vs the Leafs in the playoffs, with a sweep in one series. Also captain alfi
and co. could not beat the Leafs when they played with 10 regulars out of the lineup. Did they include
the Legendary defenceman Ricard Person in the video?

Since: Jul 8, 2008
Posted on: August 13, 2011 7:51 am

To bad about the communist government

When we were growing up,there was one television station in Canada,and communist rule dictating "Canadian content"(state content).The communists in Toronto ran the station called the CBC,or as i like prefer to refer to it by it`s real name,the TBC,Toronto Brodacst Corp.We had no choice.The state rammed whatever propaganda,usually British, they wanted to down our throats.(They still to this day can`t cut the apron strings to the queen mommy there in Toronto.How embarrassing)And as is well known,hockey was a religion growing up in Canada,before other choices became available and acceptable to Canadian kids.Problem was,just like today,the liberal communists in Toronto at the TBC controlled what Canada watched.Thus,the virtual brainwashing of Canadians kids with the Toronto Maple Laffs every Sat night.We got one game a week,it was a big deal,and the communists forced the Laffs on us if we wanted to watch the NHL.THAT`S the only reason there`s so many Laffs "fans" outside the Toronto area.It was indoctrinated into Canadian kids,who have of course brainwashed THEIR kids,etc,etc.Glenn Beck dosen`t have enough chalk to write about this one.It was pure communism and that`s the only reason the "disease" spreads to this very day.It certainly isn`t the on ice product the Laffs provide.

Since: Feb 3, 2009
Posted on: August 13, 2011 12:47 am

Sens celebrate '20-year' anniversary, look ahead

Hey Sensarmy, Since you seem to think that the past is so relevant regarding the Leafs and the basement could you tell me the last time that the Sens beat the Leafs in a playoff series?
man, that's hard to say.  i tend not to associate "leafs" and "playoffs" anymore, it's like associating the pittsburgh pirates, oakland raiders, or new jersey nets with success.  the team has been such a non-factor in the NHL standings for SO LONG, that the last time they were in the playoffs, let alone played ottawa, is just gone from my memory.  i mean honestly, who remembers that far back.

Since: Jun 8, 2009
Posted on: August 12, 2011 1:44 pm

Sens celebrate '20-year' anniversary, look ahead

Just wondering.........
Really? Because it matters how? Either team beating the other in the playoffs doesn't mean jack - because that series will NEVER decide the Cup. I wish Leafs fans could get it through their heads that the road to Lord Stanely's mug does not run through Toronto. When, not if, the Senators win a modern day Cup (and it WILL be before the Leafs), there will be no asterix in the record books should Ottawa not play Toronto in the playoffs. The fact is that for the better part of the last decade (which I believe was the point Sensarmy was making) the closest Toronto has come to the cup is knowing that it rests in the Hockey Hall of Fame. But hey, if those series wins by Toronto a decade ago help you sleep, great - rest well. Me, I'm looking forward to what promises to be an entertaining year in this Ottawa Senators rebuild process - with the idea that we will see another opportunity to win the Cup again very soon.

Since: Apr 23, 2010
Posted on: August 12, 2011 9:17 am

Sens celebrate '20-year' anniversary, look ahead

Great video. Major props for including a tribute to the Binghamton Senators (AHL affiliate) coz without the Baby Sens, the Ottawa Senators wouldn't be anywhere near where they are today.

Ottawa is an awesome city, by the way. For those who haven't visited, you need to. It's far and away my favourite Canadian city. 

Since: Jul 13, 2009
Posted on: August 11, 2011 6:15 pm

Sens celebrate '20-year' anniversary, look ahead

Great video reminds me of a NFL films segment,  senator fans should be proud of this franchise

Since: Aug 21, 2007
Posted on: August 11, 2011 4:11 pm

Sens celebrate '20-year' anniversary, look ahead

Hey Sensarmy, Since you seem to think that the past is so relevant regarding the Leafs and the basement could you tell me the last time that the Sens beat the Leafs in a playoff series?

Just wondering.........

Since: Feb 3, 2009
Posted on: August 11, 2011 12:33 am

Sens celebrate '20-year' anniversary, look ahead

careful now people, we're around 5 people who are commenting on the sens on the same thread, korby is gonna start thinking that we're the same person.

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