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.
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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.
Bridgman would not get another general job after leaving the Senators and has been very quiet since his time in Ottawa ended. Bridgman moved from Canada where he was once a player agent to become a financial consultant in Manhattan Beach, California. Bridgman has four children and was once writing for NHL’s website, though being out of the spotlight just fine for him.
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.
Bowness would become an assistant coach for the Islanders, then the Coyotes and then the Canucks. In May 2013, Bowness was fired from the Vancouver coaching staff and then joined the Tampa Bay staff. Bowness is still with Tampa Bay and he leads the team’s defense and penalty killing units. There have been rumors that Bowness will get another head coaching job seemingly every summer and it looked like he was going to the Rangers in the 2016 offseason before staying with Tampa.
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.
Maciver went into coaching after his playing days, becoming an assistant coach in the AHL and then with the Bruins. The Blackhawks hired Maciver in 2006 to lead the player development unit and he became director of player personnel five years later. Chicago would give him another promotion, naming Maciver the Assistant General Manager in 2012.
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.
Baker went into broadcasting instead of coaching, sticking around San Jose when his playing career ended. Baker was on the Sharks radio broadcasts as a color analyst and it was announced in 2014 that he would replace Drew Remenda in the television booth, so he is still very much visible today to Sharks fans.
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.
Turgeon would spend a year in the IHL before playing for multiple teams in Europe until finally calling it quits in 2002 after getting hit in the face with a puck. Turgeon gave up hockey altogether and decided on a career in homebuilding. Over the past few years, Turgeon has been working with Shane Homes and works in customer service and as well as doing some touch-up work on houses, just like his father did.
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.
Shaw became a coach after playing, becoming an assistant with Tampa Bay. Then, he was the head coach of the Detroit Vipers, then an assistant of the Springfield Falcons. After a few more stints, Shaw became an assistant with the St. Louis Blues in 2006. Shaw spent a decade with the franchise before deciding to leave after the conclusion of the 2015-16 season. He's currently a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets staff.
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.
Sidorkiewicz played in just four more NHL games in the 1993-94 and 1997-98 seasons, retiring with the Devils. Sidorkiewicz would join the Erie Otters coaching staff and eventually became the head coach in 2006. The next year he was let go after 15 games, but stayed on as an assistant for five more years. Now, Sidorkiewicz is an assistant coach for Dornbirner EC of the Austrian Hockey League.
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.
Finding any updated information on the former Senator can be a bit tough. In 2011, The Ottawa Citizen newspaper was able to find out what he was up to. It turns out that Brady had gone into landscaping, becoming a special projects manager for Prestige Landscape Group in Calgary, keeping a low profile.
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.
Hull immediately joined the Peterborough Petes coaching staff after retiring, becoming an assistant coach. In 2012, Hull was promoted to the head coaching position and is also active in youth mentoring programs in the area. Hull was the head coach for the Canadian team in the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Tournament and his team won the gold medal.
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.
Lamb’s final NHL game came with the Canadiens in 1995, though he didn’t stop playing hockey until after the 1999-2000 season. Lamb spent many years as an assistant, coaching both the Oilers and Stars throughout the 2000s. In 2009, Lamb became the head coach of the Swift Current Broncos. In June 2016, Lamb landed another head coaching job and is currently running the Tucson Roadrunners of the AHL, who are linked to the Coyotes.
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.
Freer kept playing in minor leagues until 2001-02 when he retired after playing with the Phantoms of the AHL. Freer has been working in real estate since 2004 in Pennsylvania, adding Cocoa Settlement and time as an independent broker to his resume. In 2012, Freer went back into hockey to become the head coach of the Hershey Jr. Bears. He still holds the position today.
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.
Peluso would continue to play in the NHL until 1997-98, ending his career with Calgary after an injury. Peluso made headlines when he spoke to Sports Illustrated about the effects that multiple concussions have had on his health. Peluso was added to the class action lawsuit against the NHL with more than 100 other players.
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.
Those two seasons would be McBain’s last in the NHL as he played in the minors until retiring in 1996. McBain started his post-hockey career as a Konica Business Machines salesman for Tana Digital in the Toronto area for two years. Since 1998, McBain has been the Vice President of CI investments in Toronto.
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.
For the next three seasons, Luongo was on the Islanders roster before moving to Germany to play for multiple teams, retiring in 2004. Luongo joined the Wayne State coaching staff after playing, and then moved on to become an assistant with Alabama-Huntsville. In 2010, Luongo became the head coach, but finished two seasons with a record of 6-54-3. Now, Luongo is with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program as an assistant coach for the U-18 national team.
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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