It’s been a long time since there were more reasons to be excited about the Ottawa Senators, than reasons be terrified, or indifferent.
The last few seasons have all began under the shadows of crippling dread, from the impending trades of beloved superstars, to the realization that reaching 25 wins could be overly ambitious. It’s been a long, arduous road to get this point, but that light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter with every passing summer day.
Sure, the spectre of questionable-at-best ownership still looms large, but there are finally a multitude of reasons why Eugene Melnyk is far from the forefront of this fanbase’s collective mind.
Most recently came the news that Ottawa Senators are finally - and let me reiterate, FINALLY - undergoing a 2D rebrand. It was first reported by The Athletic’s Hailey Salvian last month, but the team’s new President of Business Operations Anthony Leblanc all but confirmed that a new look is coming, as the Sens introduced their new Community Foundation.
“[a new jersey is] all part and parcel of a rebrand that we’re focused on,” said Leblanc. “That frankly began before I joined the organization and I’m just coming in with a new set of eyes to guide it. We’re excited where things are going to go with the look and feel of this organization on and off the ice. I think you can anticipate over the next couple of months you’ll see a lot more activity from us on that front.”
For fans of the team, it’s been a long-time coming. While the current set, the first edition of which was unveiled in the summer of 2007, were never among the league’s most popular, versions of the Heritage “O” uniforms had Sens fans hungry for a more contemporary look.
The back-to-black 2D look is perfect for this iteration of the team. A young group of Senators, eager to prove themselves among the NHL’s best, is perhaps reminiscent of the team at the end of the 90’s, just beginning to have their first taste of success. A logo and uniform set from that era should serve to signal to fans what this team’s goals are, and remind them what it feels like to cheer for an Ottawa Senators team on the rise.
As far as what that rising may entail, one of the most significant dates in franchise history is also on the horizon, in the form of the 2020 NHL Draft. Considered the deepest in recent memory, the Senators are in a unique position to emerge as the clear winner, with the third and fifth overall selections headlining three in the first round, another four in the second, and three in the third.
While a Top-3 pick is a home run on its own, the Sens are in a position to blast a grand slam over the right field wall, with two picks in the Top-5. The team’s surplus of picks could also be parlayed into some nice current NHL assets, with Pierre Dorion likely looking to capitalize on what is sure to be a cash-strapped league for the next few years.
If fans of the Senators aren’t currently familiar with names like Quinton Byfield, Tim Stutzle, Lucas Raymond, Jamie Drysale, and Cole Perfetti, it’s a safe bet that they will be in the weeks and months to come.
For Senators fans to whom waiting doesn’t appeal, they need only have a glance at the team’s prospect pool. This crop of Ottawa youngsters have been talked about ad nauseum for the past two seasons, and with good reason.
Drake Batherson, Josh Norris, Nick Paul, Rudolfs Balcers, Christian Wolanin, and Filip Chlapik have proven themselves to be more than capable of everyday NHL duty, while names like Logan Brown, Erik Brannstrom, and Alex Formenton are just a short step away from being in the same conversation. Even in the college circuit, Jacob Bernard-Docker and Shane Pinto were standouts at the University of North Dakota this season, and Lassi Thomson stayed on fans’ radars all the way from Finland.
Point being, while they will surely turn to this year’s draft to find gamebreaking skill and offensive ability, the Ottawa Senators have built themselves a rock-solid foundation, internally. This is also, of course, to say nothing of current standouts in Brady Tkachuk, Thomas Chabot, and Anthony Duclair.
So, for this week’s question, I want to know what has you the most excited about the upcoming 2020-2021 season. Is it the 2D jerseys? The draft? The prospects? The current core? Make sure to answer the poll, and let us know in the comments below!
What Are You Most Excited About?
This poll is closed
The 2020 Draft
The Current Core