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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 24 seasons of play.
Last season ended in heartbreak in double overtime of the seventh game of the Eastern Conference Finals at the hands of the eventual champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Just one goal away from a Finals appearance, the Sens have had a long summer and are gearing back up for another shot at hockey’s ultimate prize.
Head Coach Guy Boucher had a very strong first season behind the bench for Ottawa. He hopes that, in his second season, he can bring home the Cup. To do so, he will need strong play from his captain and points leader from last season, Erik Karlsson. He is the key to everything that happens both on and off the ice for this team. Karlsson has help from a number of different sources on this team. Among them are Derick Brassard, Kyle Turris, Bobby Ryan, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau (coming off a remarkable postseason, which earned him a new three year deal in Ottawa). 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 primed and ready for another deep playoff run. 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. This could be the year that Ottawa gets over the hump and Erik Karlsson 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.