Despite being objectively not good, the Ottawa Senators high up in the Atlantic (née Flortheast) Division. But this is hardly the most confusing - no, mysterious - thing going on in the nation's capital. No, there are many other perplexing things going on.
And I've got some thoughts on them. Here are five unsolved mysteries of the Ottawa Senators.
1) The Mystery of Jared Cowen's Healthy Scratch
Mystery: For so long this season it seemed like Jared Cowen was immune to being a healthy scratch. Despite consistent poor play, he kept on trucking. When Bryan Murray called him out this week for poor play, Cowen was made a healthy scratch and provided a measured, mature response. Is this one really a mystery? Has to be the poor play and lack of self-awareness, right?
Theory: Nope, it's the hair. Bryan Murray is the Montgomery Burns of Ottawa. Erik Karlsson cut his hair, then Mika Zibanejad did the same. Both have stayed in the lineup What happened when Cowen refused to trim those sideburns? Healthy scratch. Pay attention, Marc Methot.
2) The Mystery of the Scoring Forward
Mystery: Why does Bryan Murray insist on acquiring a scoring forward when the defence is so porous? Wouldn't getting any sort of NHL defenceman be a vastly more significant boon to the club's roster than another scoring forward? They already have at least six, seven depending on how you feel about Milan Michalek, and two unused options in Shane Prince and Matt Puempel!
Theory: The defence already has three players from Ottawa. On any given night that's 50% of the blueline. The forwards? Jean-Gabriel Pageau. One in twelve. The Senators need more players from the area. You can't teach local.
3) The Mystery of the Original Logo
Mystery: The first Senators logo was unique among NHL logos. It had a face. It had gold. It had a Roman motif. And it had some weird black things jutting out the left side. Seriously, what are those?
Theory: Who knows? I've heard everything from cape to hair. So while investigating this mystery, I turned to the most reliable source available to me: Bruce Firestone, founder of the Ottawa Senators.
@ryanclassic Hey it's art! It's all in the eye of the artist/designer. I think it was supposed to be some type of Roman thing...— Dr Bruce M Firestone (@ProfBruce) November 19, 2015
4) The Mystery of Marketing Slogans
Mystery: Who is coming up with the Ottawa Senators' marketing slogans? Let's take a look at some of them:
- This is Senators Country
- United in Red
- All In, All Red
- Rev Up the Red
- Believe It
- Young and Hungry
There is a reason the Senators' marketing strategies are so maligned by fans (please see the hopefully ill-fated 25th anniversary logo). They're simply awful. But who came up with these horrible ideas?
Theory: Some poor intern came up with several slogans, and ranked them in their opinion of worst to best. Their boss picks the one at the top of the list (thinking top of the list meant best), and the intern, terrified of losing their job, goes with it. Future resumes do not include "interned for Ottawa Senators marketing department."
5) The Mystery of Whether Bear Hugger From the Punch-Out!! Video Game Series is the Father of Curtis Lazar, Jared Cowen, or Both?
Mystery: Let's get the obvious out of the way first. Bear Hugger is 32-years old, so it's impossible for him to be the father of either player.
Now that we've covered that, let's look at the evidence. According to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System sequel Super Punch-Out!!, Bear Hugger is simply from "Canada." But if you do some digging, as all good sleuths do, you uncover that in the manual his hometown is listed as Saskatoon. Jared Cowen is also from Saskatoon. Bear Hugger is the second opponent, Jared Cowen wears #2. Both are terrible at their job.
But then comes a twist. 2009's Punch-Out!! for Wii. Bear Hugger makes a return, but this time his bio says he's from Salmon Arm, BC. So is Curtis Lazar. And if you look at his profile picture, he is smiling.
Theory: The evidence leans more heavily toward Jared Cowen being Bear Hugger's son. Since the Super Nintendo version predates the Wii one, it's likely canon. Also I'm pretty sure his mother's name is Bear Hugged Cowen.