What a year it's been for fans of the Ottawa Senators. Looking back on the last twelve months, it's difficult to neatly summarize the seismic changes in the franchise – both on the ice and off of it.
A non-comprehensive list of all the stuff that went down this calendar year:
-Claude Giroux notched his 1,000th NHL point
-Michael Andlauer beat out several competing bids, including one that prominently featured Ryan Reynolds, to become the new majority owner of the team
-The Sens traded their prized 2022 off-season acquisition, Alex DeBrincat, to the Detroit Red Wings
-Jake Sanderson signed an 8-year contract extension
-The Sens landed two unrestricted free agents in Vladimir Tarasenko (mostly working out pretty well) and Joonas Korpisalo (maybe not working out quite so well)
-Shane Pinto first held out, then was suspended for 41 games (!) for a yet-to-be-specified misdeed relating to sports gambling
-Steve Staios was hired as the new President of Hockey Operations
-Pierre Dorion was fired, at least in part, because of his role in the Evgenii Dadonov trade fiasco that ended up costing the team a first round pick
-DJ Smith and Davis Payne were fired after yet another slow start to the season, only to be replaced by Sens' legends Jacques Martin and Daniel Alfredsson respectively
That's a lot!
Meanwhile, on the ice, a late rally produced the much sought-after "meaningful" games in March and April of last season. The Sens finished 2022-23 at 39-35-8 for 86 points, their first winning record since 2016-17, but six points shy of a play-off birth.
This season began with much optimism, and has been an almost unrelenting disappointment since. The aforementioned Pinto suspension, combined with a series of injuries to star defender Thomas Chabot, has exposed a lack of depth, and the team has struggled to an 13-18 record. At this stage it will require a borderline miracle for any chance at the post-season. Not to be too much of a bummer about it, but things are a bit bleak on the ice these days.
As for our site, we went through the small challenge of SB Nation severing ties unexpectedly, leaving us to suddenly fend for ourselves. Thanks to our incredible community, we were able to transition to an independently owned and operated model, which we debuted on April 1st.
We also launched a partnership with our friends at La Brigade to feature regular French content on the site, and expanded coverage to include the new PWHL Ottawa team.
It wouldn't be a Year in Review piece without a "Best Of" list. Being extremely biased, I found it difficult to choose from so many great candidates, but nonetheless here are my favourite pieces from each of our contributors that we published this year:
Owen Welch: Are We Sure That We Can't Fix Mathieu Joseph?
Spencer Blake: Analyzing the Ottawa Senators' Drafting Tendencies
Stewart Sabourin: A toi, mon chum Claude xx
Trevor Shackles: Five Things I Was Wrong About
Thank you again to everyone who read our work and participated in our community this year. If you have enjoyed what we do here, please consider supporting the site with a paid subscription. We are currently 100% reader-supported and all of the money we take in goes directly to paying for a small stipend for our contributors, as well as paying the hosting costs for the site.
This year has been full of challenges, but celebrating the ups and the downs alongside each of you has made the ride more than worth it. We're excited to continue in 2024.
Silver Seven Team
GO SENS GO!