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The second incarnation of the Ottawa Senators arrived in the NHL for the 1992-1993 season and, despite not living up to expectations on the score sheet, the team was a hit with fans in Ontario and built a strong base of supporters.
The franchise took its name from the original Ottawa Senators, a team that dated back to 1883 and remained in Ottawa until 1934, before fleeing to St. Louis amid financial woes. However, the original Senators were a powerhouse in the early days of hockey, racking up 11 Stanley Cups, which is one more championship than the new team had wins in their inaugural season. It would be a long road ahead for the new Senators as they did not make the playoffs in their first four years.
However, hard work paid off for the franchise. After earning a postseason spot in 1997, Ottawa would make the playoffs for the next 11 seasons, which would include two trips to the Eastern Conference Finals and a 2007 appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals. To date, the Senators have reached the playoffs 16 times in their 25 seasons of play.
Head Coach Guy Boucher had a very strong first season behind the bench for Ottawa. His second season, however, was below expectation. The Sens dropped from a 44 win team to a 28 win team. Boucher will spend the offseason trying to figure out where things went wrong and what he can do to right the ship in Ottawa. The goal for his third season is to recapture a playoff spot with the hope that he can bring home the Cup.
In order to accomplish this, he will need strong play from everyone on his roster, especially in the wake of a major offseason trade which shipped longtime team captain Erik Karlsson to the San Jose Sharks. In his absence, Ottawa will rely on their other veteran contributors for leadership. Among them are Bobby Ryan, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Matt Duchene, and Mark Stone. Stone actually tied Karlsson as the points leader for this team despite only playing in 58 games due to injury. It will be a big boost for this club to have him back healthy next season. Goaltender Craig Anderson is loved in Ottawa and will return between the pipes this season to give his team a fighting chance in every game.
This team is ready to put the 2017-2018 in the rear window and get to work on jumping up in the standings. A far cry from the 10 win team in their first season, the Ottawa Senators have established themselves as a formidable opponent in the Eastern Conference and a real threat to any team they play against. Eager to get back to playing the kind of hockey this city expects, the Sens are hopeful that they can make a deep playoff run. Could be the year that Ottawa gets over the hump and raises the Stanley Cup for Senators fans everywhere?
Ottawa has been fortunate enough to cheer on some amazing hockey players over the years including Mike Fisher, Dany Heatley, Chris Phillips, Marian Hossa, Wade Redden, Alexei Yashin, Jason Spezza, Craig Anderson, Erick Karlsson, and Daniel Alfredsson. More can be learned about this great hockey club by clicking here.