Senators by the Numbers: #29

Francois Leroux D 1993-1994

Born in Sainte-Adèle, Quebec in 1970, Leroux was drafted 19th overall by the Edmonton Oilers in 1988. Standing 6'6" and weighing over 240 pounds, he was a physical defenseman and fighter who bounced between the NHL and minors during his career. Leroux was claimed on waivers by the Senators in 1993 and was acquired by the Penguins in the January, 1995 waiver draft. His most successful spell in the NHL was with Pittsburgh. He retired from professional hockey in 2003, but played from 2006-2008 in the LNAH and was the commissioner of the MAHL for a few months before the league disbanded.

1993-1994 23 0 1 1 -4 70

Phil Bourque LW 1994-1995, 1995-1996

Born in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, Bourque is a distant cousin of Hall of Famer Ray Bourque. Undrafted, he signed as a free agent with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1982. Bourque wore two numbers during his time in the capital, #27 was the first. Just before the lockout in 1994-95, he nearly died when he fell 40 feet off a cliff near Lake Powell, Arizona. He broke three vertebrae in his neck, broke his skull, shattered his sinus cavity, and broke his cheekbone and nose. Remarkably, he played 38 games for the Senators that same season. This is Bourque's second appearance; he played his first season with the Sens wearing #27.

1994-1995 38 4 3 7 -17 20
1995-1996 13 1 1 2 -3 14

Phil Von Stefenelli D 1996-1997

Born in Vancouver in 1969, Von Stefenelli was drafted 122nd overall in 1988 by the Vancouver Canucks. He has the longest last name in Senators history but the shortest Wikipedia entry. He played four seasons at Boston College and was signed as a free agent by the Bruins in 1994. He was signed by the Senators in 1996 and played just 33 games in his NHL career. Despite signing with the Lightning in 1999, he never played for the team. While he spent the majority of the first half of his career in the minors, he spent the final 8 seasons of his pro career in Germany, retiring in 2005-06.

1996-1997 6 0 1 1 -3 7

Igor Kravchuk D 1997-1998, 1998-1999, 1999-2000, 2000-2001

Born in Ufa, USSR in 1966, Kravchuk played 9 seasons in the USSR with Salavat Yulaev Ufa and CSKA Moscow before joining the Blackhawks (who drafted him 71st overall in 1991) midway through the 1991-92 season. He represented his country (USSR, Unified Team, Russia) 11 times, winning 2 gold, 1 silver, and 1 bronze medal at the Olympics. Traded from St. Louis to Ottawa in 1997 for Steve Duchesne, he spent 3+ seasons in the capital before being claimed by the Flames on waivers. He retired in 2002-03 after 7 games with the Panthers. Kravchuk is current the Team Russia's chief scout in North America.

1997-1998 81 8 27 35 -19 8
1998-1999 79 4 21 25 14 32
1999-2000 64 6 12 18 -5 20
2000-2001 15 1 5 6 4 14

Joel Kwiatkowski D 2001-2002, 2002-2003

Born in Kindersley, Saskatchewan in 1977, Kwiatkowski was drafted 194th overall by the Dallas Stars in 1996. A member of the Mighty Ducks playing in the minors, he was traded to the Sens for Patrick Traverse in 2000. The Sens traded him to the Capitals for a 9th round pick in 2003 (which the Sens would eventually trade back to the Caps). He played parts of three seasons with the Sens and during the first season wore #36. Since 2008-09 he has played in the Europe and is currently a member of HC Fribourg-Gottéron.

2001-2002 11 0 0 0 5 12
2002-2003 20 0 2 2 2 6

Brooks Laich C 2003-2004

Born in Wawota, Saskatchewan in 1983, Laich was drafted 193rd overall by the Senators in 2001. Laich played one game for the Senators before being sent to Bingo in 2003-04 and was part of the package Ottawa sent to Washington at the trade deadline for Peter Bondra. Oops. Laich played his first full year in the NHL in 2005-06 when he played 73 games for the Capitals and helped their AHL affiliate Hershey Bears win the Calder Cup. In 2011, he signed a 6-year/$27 million extension with the Capitals.

2003-2004 1 0 0 0 0 2

Martin Gerber G 2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2008-2009

Born in Burgdorf, Switzerland in 1974, Gerber was drafted 232nd overall by the Mighty Ducks in 2001. He began his pro career in Switzerland with the SCL Tigers in Nationalliga B, leading them to promotion in 1998. After he spent 7 years with the Tigers, he moved to the SEL and spent one season with Färjestad. Traded to Carolina in 2004, Gerber had a breakout season with the Hurricanes in 2005-06, winning 38 games during the regular season before being replaced by Cam Ward on the way to the Canes first Stanley Cup. In his infinite wisdom, John Muckler signed him to a three-year deal with the Sens in 2006. Gerber struggled to hold down the starter's position throughout his tenure in Ottawa and was claimed off waivers by Toronto in March, 2009. He is currently a member of Rögle BK in the SEL.

2006-2007 29 15 9 3 1 74 784 .906 2.78 1,599
2007-2008 57 30 18 4 2 145 1,619 .910 2.72 3,197
2008-2009 14 4 9 1 1 40 397 .899 2.86 839

Best #29: Igor Kravchuk

#29 is thin for the Sens, but Kravchuk provided some offense from the blue line while playing in Jacques Martin's defensive system. Part of an era when the Sens turned the corner from laughable to playoff team, Kravchuk gets the nod of Martin Gerber.

Worst: #29: Joel Kwiatkowski

Leroux, Bourque, and Von Stefenelli are all candidates but Kwiatkowski had little impact over two seasons wearing #29.

Who wore it best?

Igor Kravchuk44
Brooks Laich12
Martin Gerber17

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