Senators by the Numbers: #25
After a lengthy break for the playoffs and a capital vacation for me, Senators by the Numbers returns with the number Chris Neil has made his own.
Tomas Jelinek R 1992-1993
Born in Prague in 1962, Jelinek was drafted 242nd overall by the Ottawa Senators in 1992. His single season in Ottawa was his only season in the NHL. He won a bronze medal with Team Czechoslovakia at the 1992 Olympics. He began his professional career in Europe in 1979 and last played with Slavia Praha HC in1999.
Chad Penney L 1993-1994
Born in Labrador City in 1973, Penney was drafted 25th overall by the Ottawa Senators in 1992. A standout junior player with the North Bay Centennials and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, Penney won the Memorial Cup with the Greyhounds in 1993. Penney spent just three games in the NHL with the Senators and spent the majority of his career in the minors, spending time in the AHL, WCHL, and Britain before retiring in 1999 at the age of 25.
Herb Raglan R 1993-1994
Born in Peterborough, Ontario in 1967, Raglan was drafted 37th overall by the St Louis Blues in 1985. Herb is the son of Clarence Eldon "Rags" Raglan, a Pembroke native who played 100 NHL games with the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Black Hawks. 1994-95 was his last season in the NHL and he would finish his career in the IHL, ColHL, WPHL, and UHL. Raglan is currently a butcher and owns and operates King Street Market in Peterborough, Ontario.
Pat Elynuik R 1994-1995, 1995-1996
Born in Foam Lake, Saskatchewan in 1967, Elyniuk was drafted 8th overall by the Winnipeg Jets in 1986. After a successful junior career with the Prince Albert Raiders, with whom he won the Memorial Cup in 1985, he made his NHL debut with Winnipeg in 1987-1988. He signed as a free agent with the Senators in June 21, 1994 and spent two years with the team. His time in Ottawa was his last in the NHL; despite signing with the Dallas Stars on September 6, 1996, Elyniuk never played a game for them and spent his final season of pro hockey playing for the Michigan K-Wings in the IHL. Since retiring, Elynuik has run a hockey development camp.
Bruce Gardiner C 1996-1997, 1997-1998, 1998-1999, 1999-2000
Born in Barrie, Ontario in 1971, Gardiner was drafted 131st overall by the St. Louis Blues in 1991. When he was 14, he helped rescue two men and two boys from the Mattagami River and received the Medal of Bravery in 1987 for his efforts. After a successful college career with Colgate University, Gardiner signed with the Senators as a free agent in 1994. He made his NHL debut in 1996-1997 and played parts of four seasons with the Senators before being traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Colin Forbes, November 11, 1999. Claimed by Columbus in the NHL Expansion Draft in 2000, he scored the first goal in Columbus Blue Jackets history. 2001-02 was his final season in the NHL and he would spend the next three seasons playing in Russia, Finland, and the UHL before retiring in 2004-05. Since retiring, he has been a constable with the Barrie police department.
Viacheslav Butsayev C 1999-2000
Born in Tolyatti, Soviet Union in 1970, Butsayev was drafted 109th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in 1990. A journeyman forward in the NHL, he began his professional career by playing in the Soviet Union before making the move to Philadelphia. Butsayev had two spells with the Senators, the first ended when he was claimed by Tampa Bay in the waiver draft, September 27, 1999. Once month later on October 28, he was again claimed by on waivers, this time by the Senators from the Lightning. He wore two numbers with the Senators; #25 was worn during his second stint. 1999-2000 was his final season in the NHL, and he spent the rest of his career playing in Russia, retiring after the 2004-05 season.
Chris Neil R 2001-2002, 2002-2003, 2003-2004, 2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2011-2012, 2012-2013
Born in Flesherton, Ontario in 1979, Neil was drafted 161st overall by the Ottawa Senators in 1998. After a successful junior career with the North Bay Centennials, Neil spent two seasons with Grand Rapids in the IHL before making his NHL debut in 2001-02. He leads the Senators in all-time penalty minutes with 2,005 PIM (over 1200 PIMs more than the nearest competition) and currently sits fourth all-time in games played for the Senators. If he plays the length of his next contract in Ottawa, he will be the third Senator to reach 1000 games all with Ottawa.
Best #25: Chris Neil
This is no contest. Not only are the other candidates less than stellar, Neil is also an overwhelming choice. He's one of the longest-serving Senators, having played for the organization for 11 seasons and has matured into a leader both on and off the ice. One of the most popular Senators ever, Neil defines #25 for Ottawa.
Worst #25: Chad Penney
Much was expected from this high draft pick, especially after his success in junior, but it didn't work out for Penney and the Sens.
Who is Ottawa's best #25?