Inspired in part by Amelia's Senators By the Numbers series, and Canal Street Chronicle's All-Time Saints Team series, I would like us, as a community, to create together the best Senators team of All Time (well, since 1991 anyways). I don't just want the best scorers though. I want a full team, that could play well in any situation. 2 top scoring lines, a grinder/scoring line and a checking line. 3 pairs of defensemen that can play well in any situation, and 2 top flight goaltenders.
Today, I'd like to start with the first line center position. This is the second highest pressure position- starting tender being the obvious first. With this position comes the responsibility of being the main guy on a top scoring line- playing against shutdown d-men and skilled forwards, a top line center must be able to read and react well, and use his linemates to his advantage.
1st C Options:
Jason Spezza - Has been Ottawa's number 1 center since moving on from Alexei Yashin. Much maligned over his time here, Spezza has always been criticized for his freewheeling play, and his careless drop passes. Those rage worthy moments aside, Spezza is one of the most skilled and talented players Ottawa has ever had. He works hard, and when he gets mad, watch out.
Alexei Yashin - The team's first Superstar, Yashin was the successor to the throne when Randy Cunneyworth left. All Yashin had to do was play, and he would have been lauded as a God in this city. Then he decided to throw it all away. Refused to play, sponsored, then cancelled his sponsorship of, the NAC. Turns out he was the saviour for this franchise- without Yashin, Ottawa never acquires Spezza, Zdeno Chara or the amazingly talented Bill Muckalt.
That's basically it. Ottawa has only really had two star, top flight centers in their history. I think it's obvious who the choice is.