Ottawa - Aug. 31, 2011 - Welcome to Hockey Country! That’s right, Hockey Country! In this the 20th anniversary of the modern day Ottawa Senators franchise, I’m excited and honoured to deliver news, views and opinions on the Senators organization to the readers of Our Hometown (OH), from the best big little city in Canada, your nation’s capital.
Ottawa truly is Hockey Country. Now this isn’t meant to invoke a riot with Toronto Maple Leaf and Montreal Canadien fans, but head to Toronto or Montreal and you’ll notice that other levels of hockey barely resonate in either city. I mean where else in one night can you have 20,000 fans at a Senators game, another 10,000 downtown at an Ottawa 67’s game, home to the all-time winningest junior coach, now GM of the team and 4,000 fans across the river in Gatineau attending an Olympiques game all at the same time. Add in the central junior league which routinely gets a thousand fans a game and junior ‘B’ hockey that draws good crowds and voila you have Hockey Country.
Hockey in Ottawa is Tradition. The name Ottawa appears on the Stanley Cup no less than 11 times, with the name Silver Seven on the cup four (4) times. When the Senators left Ottawa in the 1930’s, they possessed more Stanley Cups (7) and were more established then either the Leafs or Canadiens, and after an absence of almost 60 years without NHL hockey, they still rank 3rd with Stanley Cups won, ahead of long time established franchises Boston, Detroit, Chicago and New York.
With such a deep history, living in Hockey Country, why wouldn’t I be excited to be your Ottawa Senators correspondent? What can you expect from this column? Well I’ll give you my opinion on what’s good or bad about the Senators organization and they’re on ice performance as well as what I think they need to do to improve. I’ll update you on what’s going on down on the farm in Binghamton (The Calder Cup Champions), to keep you informed and explore the rich history of the Ottawa Senators. Did you know that the very first Hart Trophy was awarded to an Ottawa Senator? Read future articles where I’ll explore this and other Senators history.
However, this column is more than just my opinion or an update on the organization and history. It’s a sounding board for all NHL and Senators fans. Whether you agree with me or not, send me your comments. I look forward to reading them and each week I’ll post the best fan comment; but keep it clean, otherwise you won’t pass the smell test.
This could be an exciting year in Hockey Country. The Senators have an abundance of young talent and it will be interesting to see how the young guns handle themselves. Will Zibanejad make the team? Is Cowen ready to play in the big leagues? What about the other first round picks? The season is just around the corner, with rookie camp scheduled to start in less than two weeks we’ll soon start getting answers to some of these questions and many more. So strap on the skates and get yourself ready for the roller coaster ride called Hockey Country.