The greatest Ottawa senators of any country
Happy to see you again! So far, we’ve built iterations of the Ottawa Senators representing both Canada and the United States. Going forward, it will be quite difficult to highlight the best Senators from around the world if we stick to the same format, so now is the time to change things.
We are going to cut the size of our teams by more than half – to three forwards, two defenders and a goalkeeper. Let’s see which countries are eligible to compete.
There may not be a ton of Swedes who have played for the Senators, but among them are the greatest to ever represent the nation’s capital – Daniel Alfredsson and Erik Karlsson.
Many have had the chance to play alongside the team’s longest-serving captain, and we’re going to mix old school with new school on that front line, with Mika Zibanejad and Magnus Arvedson. Even if you get pre-Ranger Zibanejad, he still produced as a legitimate second-line center for Ottawa between 2014 and 2016.
Erik Karlsson. The most talented senator in history. His decline as a shark is irrelevant here, he was able to carry an entire body of defense on his back during his prime (although he really shouldn’t have been relied on to do so). While he needs a capable partner to truly dominate this team, Freddy Claesson is the best option available, having a 33-game streak in 2016-17. He played in 14 playoff games that year and was a useful depth element during that time. And while he hasn’t been able to land a role in the NHL since leaving Ottawa, he has done what so many players would give their all for: he won the Stanley Cup last year.
Well, it must be Robin Lehner at the net, right? He didn’t have the best time in Ottawa, but he was Well, particularly in 2012-13 as part of the three-headed monster in goal with Craig Anderson and Ben Bishop – Bishop’s save percentage of .922 was third best of this group.
If you have to recognize one thing about the Finns, it’s that they have guts. Sure, Jarmo Kekäläinen didn’t spend a lot of time in the Senators’ uniform, but he’s played more than enough games to be a lock on this team. A former Senators executive and current general manager of the Columbus Blue Jackets, he’s best known for his playing mentality, trading for Matt Duchene in 2019 and coming off the board in the 2020 Draft in a way Trent Mann can’t even comprehend. .
If you’ve been following the Senators around the turn of the millennium, you might remember backup goaltender Jani Hurme who, during a online brawl against the Los Angeles Kings, faced off in a fight with Felix Potvin, who in turn is famous for roughing up Ron Hextall while taking minimal damage.
Jarkko Ruutu shouldn’t be overlooked either, he’s spent three seasons as an aggravating forward in the last six with the Senators, and while the most iconic moment of his career hasn’t come with Ottawa, he does involve still another former senator, and is definitely worth watching anyway:
The front row will be completed by Antti Tormanen, who played 50 games with Ottawa in 1995-96, and the defensive pair consist of two decent options combining for over 450 games in the organization – Janne Laukanen and Sami Salo. Close, but no cigar, Jyrki Jokipakka.
On the world stage you can put the Czech Republic at a lower level than Sweden, Finland and a few others, but in this context you have one of the strongest competitors. The Czech knocked out that row before – Milan Michalek, Radek Bonk and Martin Havlat. Not the best we’ve seen, but it would be wise not to underestimate a trio made up of trade centerpiece Dany Heatley, a player who was directly traded for Heatley a few years later, and the Mullet.
Defense isn’t bad either – Karel Rachunek and Filip Kuba aren’t elites but they’ll get the job done. Especially considering who they occupied the fold behind them.
He only played one season with Ottawa, but if Dominik Hasek decided to come out of retirement (his beautiful, beautiful retirement) and regain his form with the Senators, all other teams would fear for their lives. With a .925 save percentage, can you blame them? Even Senators legend Craig Anderson would think twice before going into a goalie duel with him, you know his only hope would be to go to the nearest jewelry store and throw him a few rings.
Everyone knows that the best team the Russian Senses could put together would be six Artem Zubs. But that would be unfair to those who have rendered a ton of service to Ottawa over the years. Particularly at the back, your best bet is to go with Anton Volchenkov, or “A-Train” to Friends and Foes, who places a respectable 18th on Ottawa’s all-time games list, and was a absolute warrior in all of them. of these 428 games. Sergei Gonchar could be a perfect partner for him, but I chose to go with Igor Kravchuk, who played more games for Ottawa and was still a decent offensive contributor.
The front row will be centered by Alexei Yashin, best known for getting Ottawa’s Jason Spezza, Zdeno Chara and, yes, even you, Bill Muckalt. This trade is even slightly better with you, and you should be proud of it.
Yashin will be flanked by Alexei Kovalev and Petr Schastlivy, two wingers who have played more than 100 games with the Senators. Kovalev in particular fell short of expectations, but still produced 76 points in 134 games and ended up scoring a seventh-round pick who became Ryan Dzingel. Eh.
So, now we have a problem. Because you will find that the Senators have never had a Russian goaltender in their history. It is an enigma. A dilemma. An emergency, if you will. Wait a second … urgency … that gives me an idea.
Okay, after seeing that, maybe it would be better if they just ran with six skaters. Apart from Erik Condra, who doesn’t score on this five-hole course?
To recap, here are the six teams we’ve put together across this series:
CAN: F Jason Spezza, F Dany Heatley, F Mark Stone, D Chris Phillips, D Wade Redden, G Patrick Lalime
USA: F Bryan Smolinski, F Shawn MacEachern, F Bobby Ryan, D Joe Corvo, D Brian Pothier, G Craig Anderson
SWE: F Mika Zibanejad, F Magnus Arvedson, F Daniel Alfredsson, D Fredrik Claesson, D Erik Karlsson, G Robin Lehner
END: F Jarmo Kekäläinen, F Antti Tormanen, F Jarkko Ruutu, D Janne Laukkanen, D Sami Salo, G Jani Hurme
CZE: F Radek Bonk, F Milan Michalek, F Martin Havlat, D Filip Kuba, D Karel Rachunek, G Dominik Hasek
RUS: F Alexei Yashin, F Petr Schastlivy, F Alexei Kovalev, D Anton Volchenkov, D Igor Kravchuk, G Artem Anisimov (lmao)
We are finally at the end! Here’s another shout out to OttawaWendy in the comments for inspiring the start of this three-part series! There were quite a few players that I was able to learn more about during the research leading up to these pieces, which certainly added to the fun of the whole exercise.
So where are the most talented Senators in history? Is it the well-balanced Canadian team, or would it be Sweden, led by Alfie and Karlsson? Maybe a surprise competitor in the Czech Republic? Make sure to let us know!