Senators by the Numbers: #61
A look at every player to wear #61 for the Senators
Sylvain Turgeon L 1992-1993, 1993-1994, 1994-1995
Born in Noranda, Quebec in 1965, Turgeon was drafted second overall by the Hartford Whalers in 1983. A standout rookie with the Whalers, he scored 40 goals in his first NHL season in 1983-84. In his third season as a pro he reached a career high with 45 goals. However, the following season in 1986-87 he suffered a serious abdominal injury and was never the same player again. In 1988 he suffered flash burns to his eyes by staring at a blow torch. After stops in New Jersey and Montreal, Turgeon was claimed by the Senators from the Canadiens in the 1992 Expansion Draft. His first season in Ottawa was his most productive offensively. Turgeon finished his NHL career as a Senator in 1995, but would continue to play professional hockey until 2002 in Germany and Switzerland.
Oleg Saprykin L 2006-2007
Born in Moscow in 1981, Saprykin was drafted 11th overall by the Calgary Flames in 1999. After playing in the Russian Super League as a 16-year-old, Saprykin played junior hockey with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL in 1998-99 and was named to the WHL's Second All-Star Team. His NHL career had a rocky start; he refused to report to the Flames AHL affiliate Saint John in 2002-03. He was with Flames in 2004 for Calgary's Stanley Cup Final run and scored the game-winning goal in overtime of game five of the Finals. He was traded to Phoenix that summer for Daymond Langkow. Saprykin's best NHL season came in 2006-07 and he was acquired by Sens GM John Muckler at the end of February for a second and seventh round pick. He didn't make much of an impact with the Sens, but did score a memorable GWG during Ottawa's postseason run that season. His time in Ottawa was his last in the NHL; he joined CSKA Moscow in 2007-08. Saprykin has spent time with SKA St. Petersburg and Salavat Yulaev Ufa and currently plays for CSKA Moscow.
Cory Stillman L 2007-2008
Born in Peterborough, Ontario in 1973, Stillman was drafted sixth overall by the Calgary Flames in 1992. He played his junior hockey for the Windsor Spitfires and Peterborough Petes of the OHL and spent two seasons with the Saint John Flames of the AHL. He became a regular NHLer in 1995-96 and won the Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004 and the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. He waived his no-trade clause in February, 2008 to join the Senators in a trade that also included Mike Commodore and sent Patrick Eaves and Joe Corvo to Carolina. He didn't re-sign with the Senators in the offseason, instead inking a three-year deal with the Florida Panthers. He played his 1,000th NHL game with the Panthers in 2011 and retired at the end of that season. Since retiring he has worked a player development assistant for the Florida Panthers (2011-2012) and has spent the last two seasons as the director of forwards development (the only such title in the NHL) for the Hurricanes.
Andre Benoit D 2012-2013
Born in St. Albert, Ontario in 1984, Benoit was undrafted after five seasons with the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL. He signed with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL in 2005. His played earned him a three-year deal with the Montreal Canadiens in the 2006. He spent the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 seasons with the Bulldogs, winning the Calder Cup in 2007. His contract with Montreal finished in 2007 and he went to Europe, playing a season for Tappara Tampere in Finland and Södertälje SK in Sweden. In 2009 he signed a one-year deal with the Canadiens and spent the season with Hamilton. The following season, he signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Ottawa Senators. Assigned to Binghamton, he made his NHL debut and played 8 regular season games with the Senators, wearing #47. He spent the post-season in Binghamton, and helped lead the B-Sens to a Calder Cup championship. He played for Spartak Moscow in the KHL during the 2011-2012 season and returned to North America for a second time in 2012, signing another one-year, two-way deal with Ottawa. Injuries and reliable play allowed Benoit the opportunity to remain in the NHL for the majority of the 2012-2013 season, wearing #61. He currently plays for the Colorado Avalanche.
Mark Stone R 2013-2014
Born in Winnipeg in 1992, Stone was drafted 178th overall by the Ottawa Senators in 2010. Stone played his junior hockey with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL. After posting totals of 39 and 28 points in his first two seasons with the club, Stone's offensive production exploded after being drafted by the Senators. In his final two years with Brandon, Stone had 78 goals, 151 assists, and 229 points in 137 games. Stone played in the 2010 Memorial Cup with Brandon and faced off against his brother Michael, who played for the Calgary Hitman at the time, in the tournament. Stone also represented Canada at the World Juniors in 2012. He raised the expectations of Sens fans while wearing the Maple Leaf, scoring seven goals and recording 10 points in six games while earning a bronze medal. He made his NHL debut while wearing #60 in the 2012 playoffs. He dressed for game five of Ottawa's first round playoff series against the New York Rangers, notching an assist on Jason Spezza's winning goal. Since that game, he has worn two numbers (16, 61) with the team. Stone switched to #61 before the start of the 2013-2014 campaign after surrendering #16 to recent arrival Clarke MacArthur.
Best #61: Sylvain Turgeon
Longevity wins today, though Stillman was a close second.
Worst #61: Oleg Saprykin
Yes, his one playoff goal for the Senators was certainly timely, but Saprykin was a trade deadline acquisition flop.
Who wore it best?