You can tell that the off-season has already gotten to its boring phase.
After the playoffs end, there is a small break before tons of action that includes the expansion draft, the entry draft, free agency, plus dozens of trades. From the middle of June until the first few days of July, there are plenty of interesting storylines to follow.
But the majority of free agents sign on July 1st or in the next few days after that, meaning the rest of the summer is extremely uneventful. Which means that we get to talk about things like this: an Ottawa Senators Mount Rushmore.
I saw this brought up on Twitter the other day, and I thought it would be an interesting idea for a Weekly Question. So it’s pretty straightforward. If you had to put the four most iconic Senators on Mount Rushmore, who would they be?
Quote this with your favorite NHL team's Mount Rushmore.— Dave (@baltimoredavey) July 6, 2017
They can be the four best, the four that meant the most, the four with the most heart, the four with a mix of all of the above, or the four with whatever definitions you want. Here are some possibilities:
This really needs no more explanation. He leads the franchise in the most important things (goals, assists, points, playoff goals/assists/points, game winning goals) except games played, which Chris Phillips has one more of.
He was the heart and soul of the Senators franchise and the city of Ottawa for 18 years, and it would be asinine to not include him.
Alfredsson was a fantastic player, and may even get into the Hockey Hall of Fame. But Karlsson is on another level, and he is the best player of all-time for the Senators.
He’s the best defenseman in the game right now, and could easily have four Norris trophies. Even two is nothing to scoff at. Ottawa has never had a complete game-changer like him, and although he has not been in the city as long as Alfredsson was, his impact on the franchise has been immeasurable.
Alfredsson and Karlsson are the easy ones. Now we enter into the controversial territory. Spezza was always my favourite player growing up, so I’m biased towards him. He never got the best rap by everyone in the city, but I don’t think that was totally deserved.
He was never a fantastic defensive player, but his dangling and lack of physicality came across as not caring, which I always found incredibly unfair. He ranks second in points all-time with 687, and is 196 points up on the player in third place: Alexei Yashin. He also sits second in goals, assists, game winning goals, and points per game.
Did you know that Spezza was exactly a point per game player as a Senator? I bet most people don’t. He may have had his critics, but it’s hard to argue against his point production over the years.
Phillips is an interesting option. He has played more games (1179) in a Senators uniform than anyone else, yet he was never much more than a solid second pairing defenseman.
Nobody would say that Phillips is in the top four for most talented Senators of all-time, but he meant a lot to the organization as he played his entire career in Ottawa. Besides, what’s the point of opening up your own brewery if you can’t get your name on a hypothetical Mount Rushmore?
Anderson is the best goalie in this franchise’s short history, and I think that became especially apparent this past regular season and playoffs. As a Senator he has a .920 SV%, while all of those seasons came after he had turned 30 years old. Amongst all Ottawa goaltenders, he’s faced the most shots, plus he has played the most minutes.
He has been able to propel the Senators into the playoffs multiple times, and I don’t know where the team would be without him. If you want to give the nod to a goalie, you have to go with Anderson.
Much like Phillips, Neil is not even close to the best players in franchise history. However, it’s undeniable the impact he has had on the city of Ottawa.
If you have read my articles before or follow me on Twitter, you’d know that I have never been a huge fan of Neil for his on-ice play. But I can still appreciate what he has meant to his teammates, the organization, and of course the city.
It’s incredible that he has played his entire career with the Senators (so far), as role players don’t get that opportunity very often. I know there will definitely be some people who see him as a great option on the third or fourth spot on this list.
I won’t try to convince you that he 100% belongs here, but maybe there are some people that really love Redden?
People forget that he was actually a very good defenseman, but it’s unfortunate that we just remember him as the guy that Ottawa chose over Zdeno Chara. He sits 4th all-time in games played at 838, and he’s surprisingly 5th in points with 410. I hate plus/minus as a stat, but it’s at least a bit intriguing that he’s also first in that category at +159.
He is not an obvious candidate, but there’s nothing wrong with suggesting his name.
Yes, I’m serious. I wouldn’t put him on it, but if you’re someone that simply wants the best players, then Yashin has to be here. Although he’s only 10th in games played with 504, he’s still 3rd in points with 491, and 3rd in points per game with 0.97.
Much like Dany Heatley, Yashin is obviously not liked in the city. However, it’s undeniable that he was one of the best players this franchise has ever seen. If you want only the best up there, then Yashin should be your pick.
There are a few others that you can vote for, but just let me know in the comments. Zdeno Chara? Marian Hossa? Even Dany Heatley? I’m interested to see if there are different names brought up.
Who would you put on Senators Mount Rushmore? (Please select four)
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