Alright, second installment of the best former Sens roster. Today, we're looking at the right wingers. There was a time where we were simply too strong on the right side and while we couldn't afford him anyway, Marty Havlat had a rough time either playing on the third line behind Alfie and Hossa or trying to move to the left side, which he said he hated. The first two guys in the list today are pretty obvious and perennial All-Stars, while the second two are a clear indication of just how young this franchise really is. Without further ado, your former Right Wing Sens that cracked our roster.
1. Marian Hossa: (467 games, 188g, 202a, 390pts, 243PIM, 1997-2004, 0.8351pts per game)
Any argument here? I remember the day quite well when we shipped Hossa out of town. Muckler was in Toronto along with Hossa and his agent, allegedly working in the hotel lobby in the morning before arbitration. Rejoice! We've agreed on a contract, 3 years, $18M, Hossa is staying! Domage, you've been Mucklered out to Atlanta for this great Canadian superstar, a prairie boy that wants to play in the spotlight and doesn't care about money. (crickets). Hossa's agent kinda led him out of town and learned the hard way that you don't muck around with the Mucks. No problem for Hossa, he's only been in the Finals the last two years (don't ask how it went) and is settling in for a lifetime contract on a solid Chicago team. While in Ottawa, he was plagued as a regular season star, though I guess we say that about every single Senator for the last 13 years, save Alfie in the Finals run. Hossa had the best breakout speed of anyone I've seen and was strong, to boot. I never liked, though, his poor passing abilities. I know he's a goal scorer, but even in the Finals last year, he'd gain the blue line and not really know where to look to find a teammate. Regardless, his time in Ottawa was solid and I can say with confidence that more than half of the Sens fans out there now wish Muckler had never made that trade five years ago.
2. Martin Havlat: (298 games, 105g, 130a, 235pts, 166PIM, 2000-2006, 0.7886pts per game)
Havlat was like Marian Gaborik Lite. Amazing talent and a complete and utter inability to play a full season, though he hung on for a while last year in Chicago. If he wasn't suspended for kicking a groin or a cross check to the face, he was putting up a four-spot against the Buffalo Slugs. That's how I remember him - either kicking someone or scoring sickening goals. Master of the dipsy doodle, Havlat never really seemed to get his wings in Ottawa, either because he played behind two better right wingers or because Jacques didn't appreciate the poor backchecking. By the end of Havlat's time in Ottawa, when Muckler said he'd trade him away before he'd lose him as a UFA like he did Chara, half of Ottawa didn't even mind to see him go. The guy was made of papier maché out there and honestly must have nothing left in his shoulders. It would be great to see him light it up in Minnesota this year. He's 80 point potential if he can get in a rhythm and play 80 games. But for his time in Ottawa, while a superb talent, he was too injured too often. Good luck this year, Boots!
3. Andreas Dackell: (401 games, 65g, 115a, 180pts, 104PIM, 1996-2001, 0.4489pts per game)
I'll always remember Dackell for being...hold on, I probably won't remember him at all! AD was like our early version of Chris Kelly, except even more boring. I think the reason he put in so many games in Ottawa is that his 'style' of play was what Jacques Martin dreamed of. Slightly above average speed, European hands, and a complete focus on neutral zone play. If you're trying to think of something great that Dackell did, you'd better put on a fresh pot of coffee. Seriously, though, he was a decent player, performed his duties without complaining, and earned a living. Okay, I found one highlight that is worth watching just to see the welt on the poor guy's head. If you're trying to track him down, he's been with Brynas in the Swedish Elite League for the past five years. Does he have Bob Goodenow's head on a dartboard since the lockout essentially put an end to his services here? Or was it more the chance to move home and keep playing hockey in your native tongue?
4. Mike Peluso: (81 games, 15g, 10a, 25pts, 318pts, 1992-1993, 0.3086 points per game)
I was so excited to put this guy in the list! How bad are we at right wing when our fourth best one is a goon that played one season? In a year where Ottawa was just thrilled to have an NHL team, we had some pretty sweet cult heroes: Marshy, Sly Turgeon, Cunneyworth, and best of all, Mike Peluso. Seriously, how great was it to have a grizzled captain, an iconic curly-haired defenceman, some French dude named Sly, and one of the toughest guys in the league? Peluso was traded after the one year for a package of Billington, Mallette, and some other stuff and went on to win a Cup with the Devils. One of my favourite stats, aside from the 318 penalty minutes in Ottawa, are his playoff stats with St. Louis in 1996-97, which reads 5 games, 25 PIM. Good on Dennis Vial to try and earn the hearts of Sens fans in taking over fighting duties. He was no Denis Lambert, but he did his best to make us forget Peluso. Question - Peluso c. 1993 versus McGrattan c. 2006. Who wins?
Honourable mention to Andre Roy for being a tough little guy and for getting shipped out of town under awful pretenses. Thanks for kicking off what has been never ending rumours about this team's social habits. Roy is, though, a grinder that keeps finding a way to stay in the league and for that, he deserves a ton of credit. Apologies to Andrew McBain for not making the list outside of this one line telling you that he didn't make the list.
Later - the left wingers.