"Senators by the Numbers" continues today with a look at the history of the #12 in Ottawa. It's a number defined by Mike Fisher and his decade of service, but it has been worn by half a dozen other forwards over the years.
Neil Brady C 1992-1993
A standout in junior with the Medicine Hat Tigers, Brady was drafted 3rd overall by the New Jersey Devils in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft. After three disappointing seasons split between the Devils and their AHL affiliate, Brady was traded to the Ottawa Senators in September, 1992 for future considerations. Brady's claim to fame is that he scored the first goal in the history of the modern Ottawa Senators against Patrick Roy of the Montreal Canadiens. Brady also scored Ottawa's first goal in the pre-season against the Hartford Whalers. His season in Ottawa was the best of his career, but his only one in the nation's capital and he signed with Dallas in December, 1993. Brady played five games with the Stars, spending the rest of his career in the IHL, and retired when the league folded in 2001.
Herb Raglan RW 1993-1994
Drafted in the 2nd round, 37th overall, by the St. Louis Blues in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft, Raglan signed with the Sens as a free agent in 1994. Raglan wore two numbers while with the Senators, the first of which was #12. Raglan's time in Ottawa was his last in the NHL. He would play five more seasons in various minor leagues across North America before retiring at age 30 in 1998. He now runs a market specializing in sausage, meat, and fish.
Graeme Townshend RW 1993-1994
Born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1965, Townshend moved to Toronto in 1969. Undrafted, Townshend was signed as a free agent by the Boston Bruins in 1989. After two seasons with the Bruins, he again signed as a free agent, this time with the New York Islanders. Like many other early Senators, when he signed with Ottawa in the summer of 1993, it would be his last stop in the NHL. Townshend's career would continue in the minors, where he would receive recognition for his leadership and community involvement in both the International Hockey League and the Western Professional Hockey League. Since retiring, he has worked in player development for the San Jose Sharks and as a skating coach for the Leafs. In 2007 he was inducted into the Canadian Black Hockey Hall of Fame.
Dave Archibald C 1995-1996
Before becoming an assistant coach with the Chilliwack Bruins of the WHL, Archibald was drafted 6th overall by the Minnesota North Stars in 1987. After two seasons with Minnesota, Archibald joined the Rangers. Playing just 19 games for New York, Archibald joined the Canadian national team for two seasons, representing Canada at the 1992 Winter Olympics, winning a silver medal. Traded to Ottawa for a 5th round pick in November of 1992, he spent four seasons in Ottawa. His first appearance on this list, Archibald wore #12 during his final season with the Sens.
Pat Falloon RW 1997-1998
A standout player in junior, Falloon twice scored 60 goals for the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL, before being drafted 2nd overall by the San Jose Sharks - he was the team's first-ever draft choice - in 1991. Despite his high draft standing and successful rookie campaign, Falloon never lived up to his potential, and after four seasons in San Jose, Falloon was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in 1995-96. Falloon arrived in Ottawa two seasons later, when he was traded (along with a draft pick and Vaclav Prospal) for the Senators' own underachieving top draft pick, Alexandre Daigle. While his NHL career finished in 2000, Falloon returned to his hometown of Foxwarren, Manitoba, where he joined the Foxwarren Falcons, part of the small North Central Hockey League. A top scorer in the league, Falloon helped the team win six straight championships from 2001-02 to 2006-07.
David Oliver RW 1998-1999
Born in Sechelt, British Columbia, Oliver was drafted 144th overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Oliver was a college hockey standout during his four seasons at Ann Arbor. An NHL journeyman, he was twice signed as a free agent by Ottawa. Oliver wore #12 during his first season with the Sens.
Mike Fisher C 1999-2000, 2000-2001, 2001-2002, 2002-2003, 2003-2004, 2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2010-2011
Drafted 44th overall by Ottawa in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Fisher returned to the Sudbury Wolves of the OHL for one more season and finished 5th in league scoring. Injuries would plague Fisher throughout his time in Ottawa - he never once played a full season for the Sens. Fisher made his debut with the big club in 1999-2000 but was limited to 32 games in his rookie year because of injury. As Fisher's offense continued to improve in his first few seasons, so too did his defense, culminating in his being named a finalist for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, given to the league's best defensive forward, in 2006. In 2007-08, Fisher signed a five-year contract with the team. Increased salary made Fisher a polarizing figure, with many fans demanding more offensive production and consistency from the second-line centre. On February 10, 2011, Senators' GM Bryan Murray traded Fisher to the Nashville Predators for Nashville's first-round pick.
Best #12: Mike Fisher
While his lack of consistency frustrated some supporters, Fisher is undoubtedly the best to wear #12 for Ottawa. His offensive production, physical play, defensive responsibility, and service to the community ensure he will always be cheered when he takes the ice at Scotiabank Place.
Worst #12: Herb Raglan
It was close, but ultimately Raglan made zero impact on the scoresheet despite playing almost 30 games for the Sens and spent most of his time in the penalty box.