Senators by the Numbers: #17
Today's post looks at the 10 players who have worn #17 for the Ottawa Senators.
Jody Hull RW 1992-1993
Hull's second appearance in the series (he first appeared in the #16 post), he wore #17 during his first stint with the Senators. The highlight of Hull's professional career was helping the 1996 Florida Panthers advance all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Dave McLlwain C 1993-1994, 1994-1995
Like Hull, McLlwain also appeared in the previous post. McLlwain wore #17 during his first two seasons in Ottawa. He played 22 seasons as a pro and retired in 2009. In 1991-1992 he was traded three times and one of those deals was a blockbuster: on October 25, 1991 he was part of a package traded to the New York Islanders for Pat LaFontaine.
Tom Chorske LW 1995-1996, 1996-1997
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1966, Chorske was drafted 16th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1985 draft. After a successful high school career he was named Mr. Hockey as the most outstanding high school player in the state. Chorske played for the University of Minnesota and the US National Team at the Calgary Olympics before making the Canadiens. After winning a Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 1995, he joined the Senators for two seasons. Since retiring in 2001, Chorske has worked as a senior account executive for a tech firm and as a commentator for the Devils and an analyst for Fox Sports North.
Chris Murray RW 1997-1998, 1998-1999
Born in Port Hardy, BC in 1974, Murray was drafted 54th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in 1994. A former member of the Kamloops Blazers, Murray arrived in Ottawa in a trade for Sean Hill. While his NHL career ended in 2000, Murray played one more season in the AHL for the Worcester IceCats before retiring for good.
Colin Forbes LW 2000-2001
Born in New Westminster, BC in 1976, Frobes was drafted 166th overall in 1994 by the Philadelphia Flyers. Acquired by the Senators in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning for Bruce Gardiner, Forbes was subsequently traded to the Rangers for Eric Lacroix. He spent the bulk of his career in the AHL before playing in the DEL for Adler Mannheim and ERC Ingolstadt to close out his career.
Eric Lacroix LW 2000-2001
Born in Montreal in 1971, Lacroix was drafted 136th by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1990. Obtained in a trade with the Rangers that saw Colin Forbes head to New York, Lacroix finished the season with the Sens and retired. Since retiring, Lacroix has served as owner and governor of the Arizona Sundogs and since 2009 as Director of Hockey Operations for the Colorado Avalanche.
Bill Muckalt RW 2001-2002
Born in Surrey, BC in 1974, Muckalt was drafted 221st overall by the Vancouver Canucks in 1994. After a successful college career, he cracked the Canucks lineup in 1998 and scored 16 goals in his rookie season. Traded to the Islanders, injuries interrupted his career on Long Island and he was the least-remembered part of the massive draft-day trade between the Sens and the Islanders (Yashin-Chara-Spezza). After a disappointing season with Ottawa, he signed with the Minnesota Wild. A hot start was erased by a season and eventually, career ending shoulder injury. He attempted a comeback in the AHL in 2003-04 and then again in Russia in 2006 (though he did not play a game in the KHL). Following his retirement from playing, Muckalt began a successful coaching career in 2006-07 in the Western States Hockey League and North American Hockey League before joining the Michigan Tech coaching staff.
Filip Novak D 2005-2006
Born in České Budějovice, Czechoslovakia in 1982, Novak was drafted 64th overall by the New York Rangers in 2000. Novak was part of a package sent to Florida by the Rangers for Hall-of-Famer Pavel Bure in 2002, but Filip never played for the Panthers. A serious injury cost him significant playing time during the lockout and he was traded to the Senators prior to the resumption of NHL play. After just one year in Ottawa, he went to Columbus, signing as a free agent. Novak played just six games in Columbus in 2006-07, Novak returned to Europe, playing in the CEL and KHL. He is currently an alternate captain with Dynamo Moscow.
Denis Hamel RW 2006-2007
The native of Lachute, Quebec was drafted 153rd overall by the St. Louis Blues in 1995. A standout junior player, Hamel has made his mark as a pro in the AHL. Hamel holds three Bingo franchise records: for goals in a single season (56, 2005-06) and career goals and points (124 and 236). 2006-07 was his most successful season with the big club, when he appeared in 43 games.
Filip Kuba D 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2011-2012
Born in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia in 1976, the 6'4" defenseman was drafted 192nd overall by the Florida Panthers in the 1995 draft. Unable to make Florida's lineup on a consistent basis, Kuba spent most of his four years with the club as a member of the Panthers' AHL affiliate. Unprotected for the 2000 NHL Expansion Draft, Kuba was snatched up by the brand new Minnesota Wild. It was with the Wild that Kuba made his breakthrough, becoming a consistent and reliable player and representing the club at the 2004 All-Star Game. After signing with Tampa Bay as a free agent in 2006, Kuba was traded to Ottawa in the summer of 2008 as part of the Andrej Meszaros deal. In 2008, Kuba set a point-streak for NHL defensemen to start a season when he recorded a point in his first eight games, breaking Brad Park's 27-year-old record. A free agent this summer, Kuba returned to the team which drafted him, the Florida Panthers, on a two-year deal.
Best #17: Filip Kuba
Again, not the strongest pool, but Kuba had the longest and most successful tenure with the club. McLlwain had a good first season with the club, but his play declined sharply the following season. Consequently, Kuba gets the nod. While injuries hampered his performance and limited his availability in years two and three, both his first and his last season in the capital were largely productive. Honourable mention to Tom Chorske.
Worst #17: Colin Forbes
It was between Colin Forbes and Bill Muckalt, but Muckalt's career was halted by injuries. In reality, both had dismal years in Ottawa.
Ottawa's best #17 is