Many of you may not know that the original Ottawa Senators hockey club was founded back in 1883, and had a rich winning culture. The franchise captured 11 Stanley Cups from 1917 – 1934. But due to financial troubles in the 1930’s, the team was sold and moved to St. Louis, and eventually folded after one season.
Fast-forward to the expansion era of the NHL in the early 90’s, the modern-day Senators were inaugurated back into the league in 1993.
The franchise took a little while to take off in the 90’s, failing to make the playoffs in their first four seasons. Since then, they have qualified for the playoffs 17 times since 1996, and have won four division championships, along with a Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 2007.
Ottawa has had some very good teams over the years but have still not reached the summit of the hockey world. They are still a rather young franchise at only 24-years-old. Over the past two decades, we saw several high caliber NHL players don a Senators’ uniform and made the “nation’s capital” proud.
Having said that, let’s take a look at the top 10 Ottawa Senators of all-time.
10) Mike Fisher
Mike Fisher wasn’t a prolific offensive player for the Ottawa Senators but he was one of the best two-way centers to ever play for the Sens. He was a cornerstone for the franchise from the mid-2000’s to 2011. The Canadian was an alternate for three of his 11 campaigns in Bytown.
Fisher played in 675 games for the Senators and scored 348 points. He also played 75 playoff games and was a key member of the Senators’ two most important playoff runs in franchise history. That includes the 2002/03 team that made the Eastern Conference Finals and the 2007 team, that appeared in Stanley Cup Finals.
Fisher also received votes for the Selke Trophy in five different seasons, but never managed to capture the award. The closest he came was in the 2005/06 campaign, finishing 3rd in voting with 179 votes (14.4 %).
9) Marian Hossa
Marian Hossa was one of the most offensively gifted wingers to play for the Senators. Ottawa took him 12th overall in the 1997 NHL entry draft.
Hossa entered the league at just 19-years-old and represented Ottawa for seven seasons, from 1997 to 2004.
He appeared in two NHL All-Star games and was voted for the Selke and the Lady Byng trophy twice as a Senator. In 467 games with the franchise, Hossa scored 188 goals. That included five consecutive seasons of at least 29 goals.
8) Dany Heatley
Despite only playing four seasons with the Senators from 2005-2009, Dany Heatley had his best years in the NHL with Ottawa. From 2005-2007, Heatley had back-to-back 50-goal seasons and scored at least 103 points in both campaigns.
To this day, Heatley still holds a few records on the Senator’s all-time list, including points per game (1.14), and goals per game (0.57). Despite only playing 317 regular season games for the Sens, he is still 5th all-time in total goals scored with 180.
The apex of Heatley’s career in Ottawa was scoring a career-high and team leading 50 goals and 105 points in 2007. He also played a major role in helping the team reach the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history in ’07.
7) Zdeno Chara
Zdeno Chara only played four seasons for the Ottawa Senators from 2001 to 2006, which included a lockout year in 2004/05. During that time, Chara played in 299 games, amassing 51 goals, 146 points and 554 penalty minutes.
He was a dominating force for the Senators and really came into his own in his last few seasons with the team. “Big Z” received votes for the Norris Trophy for three consecutive seasons from 2003 to 2006, for the Hart Trophy (2004, 2006), and also represented the Senators at the 2003 All-Star game.
It is a shame that the Ottawa Senators were not able to keep Chara after the 2005/06 season, due to financial issues. The Slovak had his best years with the Boston Bruins. Captaining them to the Stanley Cup in 2011.
6) Chris Phillips
Chris Phillips was the first overall pick for the Senators in the 1996 draft. The defenseman has played his entire NHL career with the franchise and is Ottawa’s all-time leader in total games played (1,179).
Phillips was never known for his offense and has only scored 288 points in his entire career. He was an integral piece of the Senators blueline for many years from 1997-2015.
Overall, Philips never really had a flashy career but could always be counted on for his strong defensive play and veteran leadership. He was a focal point for the 2002/03 Eastern Conference finalist team and the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals team.
5) Alexei Yashin
Alexei Yashin was one of best offensive players in the franchise’s formative years. Playing seven seasons (1993 -2001) in the nation’s capital, Yashin scored 491 points for the Senators in only 504 games.
He is currently 3rd all-time in goals (218) and points (491). The 2nd overall pick from 1992 had his best year in 1998/99 when he scored 44 goals and 94 points. Yashin was also a two-time All-Star, representing Ottawa in the 1994 and 1999 games.
As good as he was, Yashin was never able to help Ottawa get past the second round of the playoffs. As a result, the Senators traded him in one of the best deals in franchise history.
In the summer of 2001, they traded Alexei Yashin to the New York Islanders in exchange for defenseman Zdeno Chara, forward Bill Muckalt and the 2nd overall pick, which eventually became Jason Spezza.
4) Wade Redden
Wade Redden played 11 seasons for the Ottawa Senators from 1996-2008 and was the franchise’s number one defenseman for much of the late-90’s to the mid-2000’s.
Redden was one of the best offensive defensemen in the NHL during his prime. He had four seasons with at least 43 points, and a career best 50 points in 65 games in the 2005/06 season.
During this period, he was arguably a top-five defenseman in the league. Ottawa management believed so, as they elected to keep him over Chara in the summer of 2006.
In 838 career games, Redden has an impressive 410 points, and still remains the number one all-time leader in plus/minus with 159.
3) Jason Spezza
Jason Spezza is the best center to put on a Senators’ uniform. The 2nd overall pick from 2001 holds several records on the franchise’s all time lists and is second in goals (251), assists (436) and points (687), only behind line mate Daniel Alfredsson.
Spezza was a very productive offensive player for the Sens. He was the team’s franchise center for many years. His best seasons in Ottawa were from 2005-2008, where he scored 269 points in 211 games, which included two seasons of at least 90 points.
The 34-year-old was also a two-time All-Star and is arguably the most offensively skilled center to ever play in the nation’s capital.
2) Erik Karlsson
Erik Karlsson is not only one of the most dynamic players to lace up for the Ottawa Senators but he is one of the most effective players of his generation.
He was a first round steal for the Sens, as they were able to take him at 15th overall in 2008. Since joining the Senators in 2009, he has scored 456 points in 556 games and has been one of the best offensive defensemen in the NHL.
Karlsson set a career-high of 82 points in 82 games, has won the Norris Trophy twice (2012, 2015) and is already a four-time All-Star. He is still relatively young at 27-years-old but should be in his prime for several more years.
When it’s all said and done, Karlsson might climb this list and retire as the greatest Ottawa Senator of all-time.
1) Daniel Alfredsson
Daniel Alfredsson tops this list as the number one Ottawa Senator of all time. The Swede currently holds the franchise record for most goals (426), assists (682) and points (1,108).
Alfredsson has played 17 of his 18 NHL seasons with the Senators from 1996 to 2014. He was the captain for thirteen seasons, was a six-time NHL All-Star, and had nine seasons where he scored 70 points or more. Alfredsson was also voted for various awards including the Lady Byng (10 times), Selke (7 times), and the Hart (3 times).
The pinnacle of his career was probably captaining the Ottawa Senators to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2007. On top of that, he will be the first Ottawa Senator in the modern era to enter the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Not bad at all for a player who was taken in the sixth round of the 1994 draft, and was probably the biggest draft steal in franchise history.
He should be able to hold on to the number one spot for at least five more years but look out “Alfie”, number 65 is coming for you!
Do you agree or disagree with this top ten list? Let us know in the section below, and be sure to participate in the pool below.
Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?