Once upon a time, the Ottawa Senators were a competitive playoff team who were atop the NHL’s Northeast Division. Today, they’re not exactly known for their play on the ice, rather the antics of their owner Eugene Melnyk. As both a competitive team and a basement dweller, there have been plenty of unexpected players who have suited up for the Silver Seven.
Number 5: Pavol Demitra
Demitra was actually drafted by the Senators in the ninth round in 1993, but his short stay in Ottawa didn’t exactly go as planned. After excelling with the Senators AHL team, he earned multiple recalls from 1993 to 1996 before finally making the Senators full-time to end the 1995-96 season. Even though he hadn’t seen much success at the NHL level, his 196 points 150 AHL games made him a valuable prospect, and Demitra was intent on cashing in on that. When his contract came due in the summer of 1996, he held out and started the season in Europe. The Senators weren’t having any of his actions, and traded him to St. Louis at the end of November after just 59 games in Ottawa.
Number 4: Pat Falloon
One of the most famous draft busts in NHL history started his career with the San Jose Sharks. After four-and-a-half years of mediocrity with the Sharks he was dealt to Philadelphia where he would play just over two calendar years with the Flyers before he was again traded to the Ottawa Senators for another draft bust Alexandre Daigle. He would finish out the 1997-98 season in Ottawa, but after posting just three goals and six points in 28 games, the Senators did not re-sign him. Falloon played three more seasons in the NHL with the Oilers and Penguins before fleeing to the North Central Hockey League, a Senior A mens league in Manitoba.
Number 3: Tom Barrasso
Best known for his 12-year stint with the Pittsburgh Penguins throughout the 1990’s, Tom Barrasso was their “money goalie” after winning two Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992. As the millennium struck, his relationship with the local media took a nose dive. On March 15, 2000 he was dealt to the Ottawa Senators for Ron Tugnutt. He suited up for seven regular season games, and six playoff games as a Senator. He didn’t re-sign with Ottawa in the offseason and proceeded to take the 2000-01 season off before returning for three more NHL seasons with the Hurricanes, Maple Leafs, and Blues.
Number 2: Jonathan Cheechoo
Probably one of the biggest one-hit wonders in NHL history, Cheechoo is remembered for his 56-goal, 93-point campaign with the San Jose Sharks in 2006. His production slowed in the following seasons in San Jose until he bottomed out in 2008-09 with just 12 goals. In the 2009 preseason, Cheechoo was dealt to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Dany Heatley. He played with the Sens until the 2009-10 trade deadline when he was put on waivers after they acquired Matt Cullen. He was recalled for one playoff game, and was bought out in the summer of 2010.
Number 1: Cory Stillman
Stillman played long stints with multiple teams during his career, winning two Stanley Cups with the Lightning in 2004 and Hurricanes in 2006. Once the 2007-08 season rolled around, the Hurricanes were out of the playoff picture and looking to move some vets. Stillman waived his no-trade clause to accept a trade to the Ottawa Senators on February 11, 2008 in exchange for Joe Corvo and Patrick Eaves. Stillman played in 24 games in Ottawa, but didn’t re-sign for the 08-09 season, opting instead to sign with the Florida Panthers.
Greg de Vries
Greg de Vries had an NHL career that spanned almost 900 games with seven different teams, with the longest coming with the Colorado Avalanche. In the summer of 2003 he left the Avalanche organization to sign with the New York Rangers. His stint in New York didn’t even last a full season, as he was dealt to the Ottawa Senators at the 2004 trade deadline in exchange for Karel Rachunek and Alexandre Giroux. de Vries played in 13 regular season games and seven playoff games. After the lockout he was dealt to Atlanta along with Marian Hossa in exchage for Dany Heatley after the organization didn’t feel as though his play was worth his big money contract.
Bishop started his career in St. Louis, bouncing back and fourth from the AHL to NHL. in February of 2012, he was traded to the Ottawa Senators for a second round pick. Bishop developed into one of the top goaltenders in the AHL and earned his recall to the NHL. He played 23 games from 2011 to 2013 before he was dealt to the Tampa Bay Lightning at the 2013 trade deadline for Cory Conacher and a fourth round pick.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: bleacherreport.com