In many ways, Montreal Canadiens rivals, the Ottawa Senators wrote the perfect script for an NHL rebuild, at least when compared to the Habs.
That being said, they’ve still yet to finish it, with many fans hoping this upcoming 2023-24 season will be the one to finally end their six-season, postseason drought.
To say the Senators and the Habs started on opposite ends of the spectrum when Ottawa re-entered the NHL prior to the 1992-93 season is a definite understatement. The first incarnation of the Senators were arguably the best team in the early days of organized professional hockey, and, for many, one of the greatest teams in NHL history. While names like starting goaltender Percy LeSuer and star forward “One-Eyed” Frank McGee are mostly forgotten about in the context of the modern NHL, their stories and legends will live on for eternity, something Ottawa hoped they could rekindle in parts when they joined the NHL once more, as an expansion team, in 1992.
As you can probably surmise, that didn’t exactly happen, at least not initially. The early 90s incarnation of the Sens are regarded as one of, if not the worst team in modern-day NHL history, and it almost led to Ottawa losing the team entirely with dwindling ticket sales and a complete lack of talent on the ice or behind the bench. After an opening night 5-3 win at home (against the Canadiens funnily enough) with Neil Brady scoring the teams first goal, head coach Rick Bowness and company won only nine more games the rest of the year, finishing with a 10-70-4 record, just shy of the Capitals 8-67-5 record posted in 1974-75.