1883-1900: The first organized hockey team in Ottawa was the Ottawa Hockey Club, who were formed in 1884 at the 1884 Montreal Winter Carnival. They would later be dubbed the Generals, because of their war emblem style logo in 1890. The Generals would help found the first major organized hockey league in Canada called the AHA (Amateur Hockey Association) in 1886. In 1890 they also helped found the OHA (Ontario Hockey Association) and played in both leagues until about 1895/96 where they dropped out of the OHA to concentrate exclusively on the AHA. In 1893 the Generals barely lost out to the Montreal AAA as champions of the AHA and therefore just lost out on winning the very first Stanley Cup. Desperate to win a Cup for Lord Stanley (who lived in Ottawa at the time) the Generals faced off against the Montreal AAA on March 22, 1894 in what is considered the first Stanley Cup Finals game ever played. Ottawa grabbed an early 1-0 lead thanks to Chauncey Kirby’s goal, as the Generals dominated thanks mostly to the inspired play by a young Harvey Pulford. However, Montreal stormed back with three straight goals to win 3-1 and retain the Cup. The Generals would not challenge for the Stanley Cup for tenyears as their 1901 CAHL Championship was too late in the year to put a challenge in for the Cup.
1902-1909: The Generals were restructured as the Ottawa Senators in 1902, unveiling distinctive red, black and white striped uniforms. Even though they were officially known as the Senators, the media and fans called the team the Silver Seven, as their owner was known for paying his players with silver nuggets (even though they were supposed to be amateurs) and since hockey was a seven on seven affair back then the name Silver Seven was a natural fit. The Silver Seven were an incredible team, not only could they score, but they were also played rugged defensively. In March of 1903 the Silver Seven finally captured eh Stanley Cup slaughtering the Montreal Victorias 9-1 in a total goal series. They would quickly accept a challenge from the Rat Portage Thistles beating them in two straight games. In 1904 the Silver Seven rolled through the Winnipeg Rowing Club, Sending every player from WRC off the ice via stretcher. The Silver Seven were intimidating as they also rolled through the Toronto Marlboros, Montreal Wanderers, and Brandon Wheat Kings in 1904. The Seven continued to be unbeatable in 1905 as they beat the Dawson City Nuggets who traveled all the way from Yukon to challenge for the cup in two straight winning the second game 23-2, after taking Game 1 by a score of 9-2. Leading the scoring would be Frank McGee who notched 14 goals. In March of 1905 the Silver Sven began top show signs of waning as they dropped Game 1 to the Rat Portage Thistles before rallying to win the Cup in three games. The Silver Seven would finally meet their match in 1906 when they were beaten by the Montreal Wanderers in a total goal series 12-10. By the 1908/09 season the team was no longer refereed to as the Silver Seven as people accepted the true name the Senators. They would regain the cup back that year winning the Stanley Cup by finishing first in the ECAHA. Even though the league was full of Amateur teams the Senators were professionals and became the first pro team to win the Stanley Cup, ending the amateur era of the Stanley Cup in the process.
1909/10: After the professional Senators won the Stanley Cup, the era in which amateur teams fought for the Cup was over, as a professional league known as the Canadian Hockey Association was formed. However, the CHA would only last two games as a stronger professional league National Hockey Association was starting up at the same time. In January the Senators would join the NHA, but not before fending off cup Stanley Cup challenges from the Galt Professionals and Edmonton Eskimos. Joining the NHA had to be a pitter pill to swallow for the Senators, who rejected the Montreal Wanderers entry into the CHA, which led to the Wanderers creating the NHA. Since it was agreed that the champs of the new NHA would win the Stanley Cup, the Sens had to give up Stanley Cup, after they finished in second place with a 9-3 record behind the rival Wanderers.
1910/11: In their second year in the NHA the Senators would storm back claiming first place with a solid record of 13-3, scoring an incredible 122 goals in 16 games led by Marty Walsh who netted 37 goals. After winning the NHA Championship the Senators once again possessed the Stanley Cup accepting a challenges from the Galt Professionals who they beat 7-4 and Port Arthur Seniors who they beat 14-4. In their win over Port Arthur, Marty Walsh notched an incredible ten goals.
1911/12: After winning the Stanley Cup, the Senators played mediocre hockey as they finished with a disappointing record of 9-9, losing out to the Quebec Bulldogs for first place by just two points as Skene Ronen and Albert Kerr led the team with 25 goals apiece.
1912/13: Despite a solid 20 goals in 20 games by newcomer Punch Broadbent the Senators would struggle finishing in third place while suffering a losing season for the first time in franchise history at 9-11.
1913/14: The Senators would post their first winning record in two years at 11-9. However, they were never a factor in the race for the Stanley Cup as they finished in fourth place, as Jack Darragh led the way with 23 goals.
1914/15: The Senators reclaimed first place in the NHA with an impressive record of 14-6, as Clint Benedict took over sole goaltending duties after Percy Lesueur left the team. Leading the way in scoring was Punch Broadbent who bounced back after two down years to lead the way with 24 goals. Facing the Pacific Coast Hockey Association Champion Vancouver Millionaires for the Stanley Cup the Senators would end up getting humiliated losing three straight games by a combined score of 26-8, as the NHA lost its grip on the Stanley Cup to the first ever Champions from the West Coast.
1915/16: After their humiliating loss to the Vancouver Millionaires the Senators dropped to second place in the NHA with a 13-11 record. Making matters worse for the Senators they were losing players, including Punch Broadbent to Military service in World War I. Due to the loss of manpower the Senators asked the other owners permission if they could drop out for the year but were denied.
1916/17: The Senators would get off to a flying start winning seven of their first ten games. However, because of the unethical business practices of Toronto Blueshirts Owner Eddie Livingstone, it was decided he and his franchise would be kicked out of the league. The league continued the second half of the season with a revamped schedule and the Sens posted an 8-2 record, finishing in first place. However, since they lost out to the Montreal Canadiens in the first half a two game total goal series was ordered between the two first place finishers. Despite their strong second half the Senators would be tripped up by the Canadiens 7-6 in the NHA Championship series. After the season the resulting grief and lawsuits brought on by Toronto Blueshirts owner Eddie Livingstone threatened to disrupt the NHA. So the Senators owners along with the owners of the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, and Quebec Bulldogs went about dissolving the NHA into a brand new league called the National Hockey League.
1917/18: On December 17th the Senators play the very first game in the newly formed NHL losing to the Montreal Canadiens 7-4 on the road. It would be just the beginning of a frustrating season, as the Senators finish with a 9-13 record that is worse among the three teams that finish the season. However, Cy Denney has a solid season scoring 36 goals to finish second to Joe Malone of the Canadiens who scored 44 goals.
1918/19: Punch Broadbent, who had won the Military Cross overseas, during World War I, returned to the Senators in time for the last game of the first half of the season. The return of Broadbent helped the Senators turn it completely around as they finished the season with the best overall record at 12-6 with Frank Nighbor and Cy Denney led the team with 22 goals apiece. Along the way the Duke of Devonshire attended the December 27th game, marking the first time the Governor-General had appeared at a hockey game since the outbreak of the World War I. However, in the NHL Championship the Senators would be thwarted by the Montreal Canadiens in five games, as Frank Nighbor missed the first three games due to a family emergency.
1919/20: In a year of goal scoring records Senators goalie Clint Benedict proves to be the key player leading the NHL with a 2.67 GAA, as the Senators posted an impressive 19-5 record. The Senators dominance was so complete that they finished in first place in both halves of the season, automatically winning the NHL Championship. In the Stanley cup Finals the Senators faced the defending PCHA Champion Seattle Metropolitans. Because the Mets wore green/white/red-striped sweaters that were very similar to Ottawa’s black/white/red sweaters, the Sens agreed to wear plain white sweaters for the Finals. Poor ice conditions at Ottawa marred the first three games of the series as the Senators grabbed the first two games before losing Game 3. Because of the ice conditions the rest of the series was shifted to the Mutual Street Arena in Toronto, which had artificial ice making machines. In Game 4 the Metropolitans would explode for five goals to force a decisive fifth game. In Game 5 Jack Darragh would emerge as the hero as he netted a hat trick as the Senators won the Stanley Cup with a convincing 6-1 win.
1920/21: The Senators were clearly the class of the NHL as Clint Benedict was the best goalie in the league while a powerful offense led by Cy Denneny, Jack Darragh and Frank Nighbor helped back the Senators the team to beat for the Stanley Cup. However, the Senators would have to settle for second place in the NHL with a record of 14-10. Along the way Cy Denneny led the team in scoring with 34 goals including six goals in a game against the Hamilton Tigers on March 7th. Under a new playoff format the top two teams would face-off for the NHL title, as the Senators proved they were the premiere team in the NHL by obliterating the first place Toronto St. Patricks 7-0 in the NHL Championship. Traveling to the west coast to face the PCHA Champion Vancouver Millionaire, who had humiliated the Senators for the Stanley Cup six years earlier, and playing in front of record crowds of the series would go back and forth as the two teams played evenly splitting the first four games that were all decided by one goal. In Game 5 Jack Daragh would be the hero for the Senators again as he scored twice as the Senators won the Cup for the second straight year with a 2-1 win.
1921/22: The Senators continued to dominate the NHL, as they added King Clancy and Frank Boucher to their lineup. Along the way the Senators led the league in scoring with 106 goals and fewest goals against in the league at they away with the NHL regular season title with a 14-8-2 record. Leading the way for the high-powered Senators is Punch Broadbent and Cy Denney who finished 1-2 in the NHL in scoring. In the playoffs the Senators were expected to easily win their third straight championship as they faced the Toronto St. Patricks in the NHL championship series. However, the Senators were stunned in Game 1 of a total goal series 5-4. With the second game tied 0-0 the Senators desperately tried to score to even the series 5-5. However, the outstanding goaltending of rookie John Ross Roach stymied the Senators and the St. Pats completed the upset 5-4 to win the NHL championship and earn the right to challenge for the Stanley Cup.
1922/23: After their letdown in the playoffs the Senators rebounded, as they stormed out of the gate on the way to finishing first overall in the league again with a stellar 14-9-1 record. Along the way they were undefeated on home ice, as Clint Benedict led the league for the fifth straight year in GAA. On the ice Cy Denneny dominated the Senators scoring 23 goals in 24 games; While King Clancy was an everyman man as he played all positions for the team this year even a brief stint in goal replacing a tired Benedict late in one game. In the playoffs the Senators defeated the Montreal Canadiens for the NHL championship 3-2 in a two game total goal series. With the NHL Championship the Senators now had to face two Champions for the Stanley Cup, the Vancouver Maroons from the PCHA as well as the Edmonton Eskimos from the new WCHL. The Senators would win both series wiping out the Maroons in five games, before sweeping the Eskimos in two straight to win the Stanley Cup for the third time in four years.
1923/24: The Senators once again finished first in the league with a 16-8 record, as Cy Denneny led the NHL in scoring with 22 goals. Once again Clint Benedict would post the best GAA in the league again as well, as Frank Nighbor won the very first Hart Trophy in recognition to the player most valuable player to his team. However, in the playoffs the Senators would experience another letdown as they were beaten by the Montreal Canadiens 5-3 in a two game total goals series.
1924/25: After their disappointment in the playoffs the Senators lost Clint Benedict and Punch Broadbent in the off-season to the expansion Montreal Maroons. To replace Benedict the Sens signed goalie Alex Connell who played brilliantly as he managed seven shutouts, establishing a new league record. In addition the Senators picked up Ed Gorman and Hooley Smith to help make up for the loss of Broadbent. However it would not be enough as the Senators had a disappointing season finishing in fourth place with a 17-12-1, failing to qualify for the playoffs.
1925/26: After missing the playoffs the Senators stormed back winning the regular season title with a solid record of 24-8-4 record. Once again, Cy Denneny led the team in scoring with 36 points while Frank Nighbor and Hooley Smith both contributed 25 points of their own. Meanwhile, goalie Alex Connell made fans forget Clint Benedict, as he had a stellar 1.20 GAA including 15 Shutouts. However, their old goalie would comeback to haunt them in the NHL Championship as the Montreal Maroons advanced to play for the Stanley Cup by winning a total goal series 2-1, as Benedict blanked the Sens 1-0 in Game 2.
1926/27: The Senators dominated the regular season again winning the Canadian Division with a league best record of 30-10-4; Cy Denneny again led the team with 23 points including 17 goals. While goalie Alex Connell again dominated with another 12 Shutouts as well as a 1.57 GAA. With the rival leagues gone the NHL took sole possession of the Stanley Cup and revamped their playoffs. In the playoffs the Senators had received a bye to the semifinals, where they dumped the Montreal Canadiens 5-1 in a two game total goal series. They would go on to meet the Boston Bruins n the first all NHL Stanley Cup Finals. The first game would end deadlocked as neither team could get on the scoreboard. The Senators would garb Game 2 by a score of 3-1, before Game 3 also ended in a tie. The Senators would go on to win Game 4 by a score of 2-0 to claim the Stanley Cup again, as NHL president Frank Calder ruled the series would go four games no matter what, and since they were 2-0-2 they were awarded the Stanley Cup.
1927/28: With several key players retiring and Cy Denneny showing signs of aging by scoring just three goals on the season the Senators decent from NHL powerhouse began. However, the Senators stayed competitive as goalie Alex Connell had a stellar 1.30 GAA, which included six straight shutouts. However, the Senators struggled down the stretch posting a 20-14-10 record while finishing in third place in the Canadian Division. However, in the playoffs the Sens would make a quick exit as they were beaten by the Montreal Maroons 3-1 in a total goal series.
1928/29: With the departure of Cy Denneny and Punch Broadbent the Senators struggled, missing the playoffs by finishing in fourth place with a record of 14-17-13, as economic woes began to plague the Senators, as their attendance dropped severely, as rumors began to circulate about teams moving.
1929/30: The Ottawa Senators bounced back with the acquisition of Art Gagne and Dan Cox and the arrival of rookies Wally Kilrea and Syd Howe. However, Ottawa’s real troubles were at the box office, as the stock market crash had taken place as attendance continued to deteriorate for the Senators. The slumping attendance in Ottawa caused management to transfer a scheduled game to Atlantic City where the Senators played the New York Rangers before a crowd of 10,000 fans. Despite the troubles the Senators would still make the playoffs by finishing in third place with a record of 21-15-8. However, they would be bounced out of the playoffs quickly as they dropped a total goal series to the Rangers 6-3.
1930/31: Continued poor attendance and financial trouble led to more blood-letting by the Senators as King Clancy, was sold to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a reported $35,000, while Syd Howe, Allan Shields and Wally Kilrea were sold to the Philadelphia Quakers. Fans in Ottawa which was hit hard by the Great Depression were selective in the games they did decide to attend as 4,000 showed up to see the Senators defeat the Quakers 5-2, while a few nights later over 10,000 were on hand to see the Senators lose to the Montreal Canadiens 5-4. The poor attendance and selling off of players would catch up to the Senators who finished in last place with a terrible 10-30-4 record.
1931/32: Because of a grave financial situation, the NHL allowed the Senators, along with the Philadelphia Quakers to suspend operations, so they could reconstruct themselves financially. While the Senators were on hiatus the league sub-leased their players, to the remaining teams through a dispersal draft. In an effort to tighten belts during the height of the Depression, NHL owners decided to put a cap of $70,000 on team payrolls with no single player to be paid over $7,500. That represented a 10% slice for most teams and the players staged a small revolution over the move, but with few consequences. Seat prices were slashed too. The top prices were $3 and fans could get into most arenas for as little as 50 cents.
1932/33: The Senators returned to the league after a one-year hiatus with Cy Denneny behind the bench as coach, as the players they had loaned to other clubs returned, including Syd Howe, Hec Kilrea and Frank Finnigan, all natives of the Ottawa region. The Governor-General did the honors at Ottawa and 8,000 spectators came to welcome the Senators back on opening night. However, the Montreal Maroons spoiled the homecoming with a 2-1 win. Attendance would improve slightly but the Senators financial struggles continued as they finished dead last with an awful 11-27-10 record.
1933/34: The Senators barely survived the season, as attempts made to have them merge into the equally troubled New York Americans but the NHL board of governors wouldn’t allow it. The Senators would go on to finish dead last again with a terrible record of 13-29-6. On March 15th, with all indications it would be the final game in Ottawa 6,500 fans came to watch as Frank Finnigan scored, what would be the final goal as the Senators were beaten by the Americans 3-2.
1935-1992: The Senators were sold to interests in St. Louis. The NHL didn’t want the move to occur because of St. Louis’s travel distance being too far. They eventually granted the sale and transfer because they didn’t want to lose a franchise like they lost the earlier Pennsylavania franchise. However, after just one season in St. Louis the team would fold. The city of Ottawa would not see a major professional hockey team for nearly 40 years as they were briefly home to two different WHA franchise known as the Nationals in 1972/73 and Civics in 1976. With NHL expansion exploding in the 1990’s the NHL decided to make its return to Ottawa, as they revived the old Senators name.
©MMXI Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, with assistance from Mike Bianco all information, and team names are property of the National Hockey League. This site is not affiliated with the Ottawa Senators or the NHL.
This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on June 11, 2003. Last updated on June 5, 2011 at 6:00 pm ET.