Senators by the Numbers: #21
Today's "Senators by the Numbers" looks at every player who has ever worn #21 for Ottawa.
Dominic Lavoie D 1992-1993
Born in Montreal in 1967, Lavoie was an undrafted, skilled offensive player with the St-Jean Castors of the QMJHL when he was signed as a free agent by the St. Louis Blues. Never playing more than 13 games in a season in the big leagues, Lavoie's NHL career spanned 38 games. In 1994-95 he made the move to Europe: playing seven seasons for Feldkirch VEU in the Austrian league and three seasons with the Hannover Scorpions in the DEL. Lavoie represented Austria internationally; he finish top-10 in scoring at the 1998 Olympics and represented his adopted country twice at World Championships (1999, 2000).
Martin St. Amour LW 1992-1993
Another Montreal native, St. Amour was born in 1970 and was drafted 34th overall by his hometown Canadiens in 1988. One of a handful of players who played just one NHL game, Amour's debut/finale occurred during Ottawa's dismal inaugural season. Making stops in the AHL, Britain, the IHL and France; it is with the San Diego Gulls of the WCHL that St. Amour spent the bulk of his career. In his eight seasons with the club, Amour was an offensive force, twice scoring 60 or more goals in a season in less than 60 games. St. Amour would go on to be the head coach and GM of the now defunct WCHL team.
Dennis Vial D/LW 1993-1994, 1994-1995, 1995-1996, 1996-1997, 1997-1998
Born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario in 1969, Vial was drafted 110th overall by the New York Rangers in 1988. An enforcer, Vial bounced around the league before landing in Ottawa, claimed in Phase II of the 1993 Expansion Draft. Ottawa's general lack of talent meant Vial played the most in Ottawa of any stretch of his NHL career. In just 176 games with the Senators, Vial accumulated 71 fighting majors. Despite this, he actually won Ottawa's Frank Finnigan Award (this is a thing?) in 1993-94 as the Senators most improved player. Vial is perhaps best known in Ottawa for his longstanding feud with Buffalo Sabres tough guy Rob Ray. His last season in the capital was his last in the NHL and he spent the next seven years playing in the UHL and Britain. In 2001, while playing for the Sheffield Steelers, Vial incited a brawl between his team and the Nottingham Panthers. Described as one of the worst acts on violence at a British hockey rink, Vial was suspended and fined for cross-checking a Nottingham player and squirting water at fans.
Andreas Johansson LW 1998-1999
Born in Hofors, Sweden in 1973, Johansson was drafted 136th overall by the New York Islanders in 1991. He played parts of ten seasons in the NHL with seven different teams. During the 2004-05 lockout Johansson went back to Europe, finishing his career playing in Switzerland, Russia and Sweden. Since retiring in 2009, Johansson has coached with Modo of the SEL and is currently an assistant with Färjestad BK.
Kevin Miller C 1999-2000
Born in Lansing, Michigan in 1965, Miller was drafted 202nd overall by the New York 1984. Part of the NHL's Miller family (brothers Kip and Kelly both played in the NHL, cousins Ryan and Drew are current NHLers), Kevin was part of the Millers' Michigan State tradition; he spent four years as part of the university's NCAA team from 1984-88. After Miller's time in Ottawa, he would only play four more NHL games with the Red Wings in 2003-04. Miller is current a Vice-President with Further Lane Securities.
David Oliver RW 2000-2001
Born in Sechelt, BC in 1971, Oliver had a successful career at the University of Michigan from 1990-1994. Drafted by the Oilers 144th overall in 1991, he would play for the Oilers, Rangers, Coyotes and Stars in addition to the Senators. He played for the Senators twice: in 1998-99 (when he wore #12) and 2000-01. During his second stint with the Sens, he split time with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the IHL. After the season finished, he went to the DEL to play with the Munich Barons before being signing with the Dallas Stars, where he would finish his NHL career in 2005-06. In the 2004-05 lockout Oliver played in Britain for the Guildford Flames. Oliver's final pro season was 2006-07, which he spent in Sweden's second division with Rogle BK Angelholm. In 2007, Oliver became the first GM of the new AHL franchise the Lake Erie Monsters, a role he held until 2011, when he became Director of AHL Operations and Assistant Coach for the club.
Steve Martins C 2001-2002, 2002-2003
Born in Gatineau, Quebec in 1972, Steve Martins was drafted in the 1994 Supplemental Draft by the Hartford Whalers. A graduate of Harvard University, most of Martins pro career was spent in the AHL. Martins played for Hartford, Carolina, Tampa Bay, the Islanders, and St. Louis during his career. Martins play for the Senators on three separate occasions and 2001-2003 was his second stint with the team.
Bryan Smolinski C/LW 2002-2003, 2003-2004, 2005-2006
Born in Toledo, Ohio in 1971, Smolinski was drafted 21st overall by the Boston Bruins in 1990. Smolinski had a 15-year NHL career in which he played over 1000 games, scored 274 career goals and 651 career points for 8 NHL teams. Smolinski was acquired by the Sens at the trade deadline in 2003 from the Los Angeles Kings for prospect Tim Gleason. Smolinski currently works as a coach at Matthew Barnaby's summer hockey school.
Jason Smith D 2008-2009
Born in Calgary in 1973, Smith was drafted 18th overall by the New Jersey Devils in 1992. Smith signed as a free agent with Ottawa in July, 2008. Playing only one year with the Senators, 2008-2009 was the last season of his 16-year NHL career. Smith played his 1000th NHL game with the Senators on February 17, 2009 against Colorado. He is currently a scouting and development consult with the Senators.
Ryan Potulny C 2010-2011
Born in Grand Forks, North Dakota in 1984, Potulny was drafted 87th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2003. In 2006 as a member of the Minnesota Golden Gophers Potulny was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award. Acquired by Ottawa as part of the Chris Campoli deal, Potulny's time with the Senators was primarily spent with Bingo, where he was a key contributor during the BSens Calder Cup run in 2010-11 (23 GP-14G-12A-26P). Potulny has not played in the NHL since his time with Ottawa and he is currently with the Hershey Bears of the AHL.
Nikita Filatov LW 2011-2012
Born in Moscow in 1990, Filatov was drafted 6th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2008. Filatov currently plays for Salavat Yulaev in the KHL.
Best #21: Bryan Smolinski
This is a pretty weak number for the Sens historically. Most who have worn the number spent only part of one season in the capital. Smolinski spent a few years in Ottawa and provided reliable secondary scoring for the club. He gets the nod.
Worst #21: Dennis Vial
17 points in 176 games is not good. If his fighting majors (71) and points (17) were reversed he wouldn't be the worst.
Who is Ottawa's best #21?