At one point, there was an Ottawa Senators hockey team long before the one that you know today. The team packed up and moved to St. Louis in the 1930s and the NHL announced that they would be looking for expansion options in the late 1980s. In December 1990, the NHL announced that they approved the plan by Bruce Firestone to bring NHL hockey back to Ottawa and the Senators were re-born.
To say that it was a struggle out of the gate for the Senators would be an understatement, as they finished the 1992-93 season with a record of 10-70-4. Even worse, they finished just 1-41 on the road, including 38 straight road losses, an NHL record. Still, fans would not be denied Ottawa Senators hockey and attendance was among the best in the league with games near-capacity the entire season. Hockey is just that big in Canada.
But what happened to the Senators that were part of that first team in the expansion era? Let’s take a look at some of the notable names from the first year of the franchise and see what they are up to today. Here is the inaugural 1992-93 Ottawa Senators and where they are now.
15 Mel Bridgman
Mel Bridgman had played in the NHL for more than a decade, retiring after the 1988-89 season. Just a few years later, he was appointed the seemingly impossible task of building the first Senators roster. After assembling the team that would be one of the worst in the NHL’s history, Bridgman did not stick around. Rod Bryden, the team’s owner, took him to breakfast the day after the season ended and fired him on the spot.
14 Rick Bowness
Another long time former player that landed a high ranking position with the new Senators, Rick Bowness was fresh off of his short stint as the Bruins head coach in the 1991-92 season when he was tabbed to be the first Senators head coach. The Bowness-led Senators had the league’s worst record for three seasons and then he was fired early into his fourth season.
13 Norm Maciver
After going undrafted, Norm Maciver was arguably the best player on the inaugural Senators roster. Maciver came over from the Oilers and played in 80 games for Ottawa, leading the team in scoring with 63 points (15 more than anybody else on the team). Maciver played two more seasons for Ottawa that weren’t as successful and ended his NHL career with the Phoenix Coyotes in 1998.
12 Jamie Baker
After attending St. Lawrence University in the late 1980s, Jamie Baker was taken in the supplemental draft by the Quebec Nordiques. Baker played three seasons with Quebec before joining the first Senators roster and was one of the biggest impact players with 76 games. Baker would score 48 points (second on the team), but it would be his only season in Ottawa and his final NHL game came in the 1998-99 season with San Jose.
11 Sylvain Turgeon
After spending most of his career with the Whalers, Devils and Canadiens, Sylvain Turgeon joined the 1992-93 Senators and was part of the team’s top line. Turgeon scored 43 points in his 72 games played from the left wing position, leading the team in shots taken. Turgeon played two more NHL seasons, sticking with Ottawa, and left the NHL in 1995 after playing in just 33 games.
10 Brad Shaw
Brad Shaw is another player that spent a lot of time with the Whalers in the 1980s, joining the Senators before their first season to serve as alternate captain. Shaw had a decent first season (all things considered), playing in 81 games and notching 41 points as a defenseman. Shaw would become a captain the next year and then spent just two games with the Senators in 1994-95. Shawn had short stints with Washington and St. Louis years later, ending his career in 1999.
9 Peter Sidorkiewicz
One of the hardest jobs you can have in hockey is that of a goaltender on an expansion team. Peter Sidorkiewicz was the unfortunate one to have that job after being yet another member of the 1980’s Hartford Whalers. Sidorkiewicz was the starting goalie for 64 games in Ottawa’s first season, finishing with a record of 8-46-3, allowing 4.43 goals per game. It would be his last season with the team.
8 Neil Brady
Even though the team was bad, someone had to score the first goal in Senators history. That honor went to center Neil Brady, who had spent the previous three seasons as a part-timer with the New Jersey Devils. Brady played in 55 games during the 1992-93 season, scoring a total of 24 points. 1992-93 was Brady’s only season in Ottawa and his final season game the next year in five games with Dallas, retiring from the NHL in 1994 to go play in the International Hockey League.
7 Jody Hull
There were some high expectations for Jody Hull as he was the 18th overall pick in 1987 by the Whalers (yes, them again). Hull would play in just 98 games for Hartford before joining the Rangers for two seasons, then landing with the Senators. The 1992-93 season was his only in his first stint with Ottawa and Hull scored 34 points in 69 games. After playing with Florida, Tampa Bay and Philadelphia, Hull ended his career with three seasons on the Senators roster.
6 Mark Lamb
A former Calgary draft pick, Mark Lamb joined the Detroit Red Wings for a season before becoming a member of the Oilers where he spent five seasons and won a Stanley Cup. The Senators scooped up Lamb in their expansion draft and gave him the honor of being a co-captain. Lamb scored 26 points in 71 games that season, and was then traded toward the end of the next season to Philadelphia.
5 Mark Freer
Mark Freer had only played in a handful of games until the 1991-92 season when he appeared in 50 games for the Flyers. The next season, Freer found himself as a member of the Senators at just 24 years old. Freer set career highs in his only season with the Senators, appearing in 63 games while scoring 10 goals and adding 14 assists. Freer appeared in two more NHL games and they came the next year with Calgary.
4 Mike Peluso
After being drafted in 1984, Mike Peluso decided to go back to school and joined the Blackhawks in 1989 as an enforcer. Peluso racked up penalty minutes left and right and became a member of the Senators after the expansion draft. Peluso played just one season with Ottawa, but became a hero thanks to 318 penalty minutes and a ton of fights. Peluso even added 25 points to his stat sheet.
3 Andrew McBain
Andrew McBain was once the eighth overall pick (1983) by Winnipeg and didn’t quite live up to expectations. McBain had a solid rookie season, but struggled and was then moved to Pittsburgh and eventually got sent down to the minors. The Senators had a chance to revive his career after selecting him in the expansion draft. McBain scored 23 points in 59 games and came back the next season to score 19 in 55 games.
2 Chris Luongo
Defenseman Chris Luongo was a big deal in his home state of Michigan, growing up in Detroit, playing for Michigan State and then being drafted by the Red Wings. Luongo would only play in four games for the Red Wings in the 1990-91 season, though. Luongo didn’t make an NHL appearance the next year before being taken by the Senators for their first year. Luongo would play in 76 games, scoring 12 points.
1 Laurie Boschman
Laurie Boschman had a very long career that started in the 1970s, which is why he was given the role as being the first captain in the history of the Ottawa Senators. Boschman played in 70 games, scoring just 16 points. At the end of the year, Boschman’s contract was bought out and he would be done as an NHL player afterward.
Boschman, who is one of just 16 players with 500 points and 2,000 penalty minutes, has since joined Hockey Ministries International. According to the organization’s website, their “desire is to see the hockey world impacted with the Christian message of hope.” Boschman is part of the Canadian Field Staff and his official job is the NHL Chapel Coordinator that provides NHL teams with places to pray at stadiums.
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