Senators by the Numbers: #26
Bob Kudelski RW 1992-1993. 1993-1994
Born in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1964, Kudelski was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the 1986 Supplemental Draft. He completed four successful seasons at Yale University and made his NHL debut in 1987-88 for the Kings. Traded to Ottawa midway through the inaugural season, Kudelski brought scoring flare to the dismal Senators and finished the season just four goals behind Sylvain Turgeon for the team lead. His scoring abilities improved the following year, and with 26 goals in 42 games for the Senators, Kudelski was on pace to become the franchise's first 50-goal scorer. However, Sens management had other plans, and he was traded mid-season to the Florida Panthers for Evgeny Davydov, Scott Levins, Florida's 6th round choice (Mike Gaffney) in the 1994 Draft and Dallas' previously acquired 4th round pick (Kevin Bolibruck) in the 1995 draft. Because the Panthers had played fewer games than the Senators, Kudelski tied Jimmy Carson's NHL record for most games played in a single season (86). Stifled in Florida's defensive system, he retired having played just thirteen games in the 1995-1996 season. Kudelski is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the Florida Panthers Alumni Association.
Scott Levins C/RW 1993-1994, 1994-1995, 1995-1996
Born in Portland, Oregon in 1970, Levins was drafted 75th overall by the Winnipeg Jets in 1990. A grinder, he was dealt to Ottawa in 1994 as part of the Bob Kudelski deal. Levins spent the bulk of his NHL career in Ottawa before finishing the rest of his playing days in the minors (UHL, IHL, AHL) and Europe (Germany and Britain).
Phil Crowe RW 1996-1997, 1997-1998, 1998-1999
Born in Nanton, Alberta in 1970, Crowe was undrafted and signed with the Los Angeles Kings in 1993. An enforcer, Crowe spent parts of three seasons with Ottawa before being claimed by the Thrashers in the 1999 NHL Expansion Draft.
Andre Roy RW 1999-2000, 2000-2001, 2001-2002
Born in Port Chester, New York in 1975, Roy was drafted by the Boston Bruins 151st overall in 1994. An enforcer, he played for five teams during his 11-year NHL career. Signed as a free agent by Ottawa in the spring of 1999, Roy spent three seasons with the Sens before he was traded to Tampa Bay for Juha Ylonen in March, 2002. Roy won the Stanley Cup while in Tampa and was popular with his teammates. To change the mood after a devastating loss during Tampa's 2004 run, Roy served his teammates cookies wearing only an apron on a flight home at Martin St. Louis' suggestion. However, his second stint with the Lightning was less successful. After two infamous fights with Riley Cote, Roy made a throat-slitting gesture while on the bench before being restrained by John Tortorella. Tortorella refused to play Roy for the rest of the season and Andre signed with the Flames in the offseason. After one season in Calgary, Roy retired. Despite some difficulty adjusting to retirement, Roy now works as a commentator for RDS and for the Blaineville Armada in the QMJHL.
Benoit Brunet LW 2001-2002
Born in Pointe-Claire, Quebec in 1968, Brunet was drafted 27th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in 1986. A fixture on Montreal's wing for more than a decade, Brunet was a defensive-minded forward and skilled penalty-killer. In his final NHL season in 2001-02, he was traded to the Dallas Stars with Martin Rucinsky for Donald Audette and Shaun Van Allen. He played 32 games in Dallas and was traded again, this time to the Senators in exchange for a draft pick. Brunet retired after the season. Since retiring, he has worked as a colour commentator for RDS.
Vaclav Varada LW 2002-2003, 2003-2004, 2005-2006
Born in Vsetin, Czechoslovakia in 1976, Varada was drafted 89th overall by the San Jose Sharks in 1994. Varada played seven seasons with the Buffalo Sabres before being traded to the Sens at the deadline in 2003 for Jakub Klepis. In the summer of 2006 Varada signed with HC Davos of the Swiss League. Varada currently plays for HC Ocelari Trinec of the Czech League.
Ryan Shannon C 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2010-2011
Born in Darren, Connecticut in 1983, Shannon went undrafted after a successful four-year college career with Boston College. Signed by the Anaheim Ducks, Shannon won the Stanley Cup in 2007. Traded to the Senators by the Vancouver Canucks for Lawrence Nycholat, Shannon played three seasons in Ottawa. In Ottawa, Shannon's fate was tied to Cory Clouston; when the AHL coach won the team's NHL job, he promoted Shannon. Ryan had his greatest success in the NHL while with Ottawa, but was not re-signed in 2011. He spent one year in Tampa Bay and played 45 games. Not offered a contract by an NHL team after the 2011-2012 season, Shannon agreed to a three-year deal with the ZSC Lions in Switzerland.
Best #26: Bob Kudelski
One of the few offensive bright spots during Ottawa's first two seasons, Kudelski was the most productive #26.
Worst #26: Phil Crowe
While Levins was a possibility, Crowe gets the nod. A little used enforcer, Crowe had trouble cracking the line-up and making an impact.
Who is Ottawa's best #26?