Senators at 25: A look back at Ottawa's expansion drafttheScore
While the Vegas Golden Knights are set to put together their inaugural roster in just a few days, it has been 25 years since the Ottawa Senators conducted their expansion draft prior to the 1992-93 season.
The Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning, who joined the league the same year, each chose 21 players - two goaltenders, seven defensemen, and 12 forwards. The pickings were quite slim, as non-expansion teams were allowed to protect two netminders and 14 skaters each. (The second-year San Jose Sharks were exempt from the expansion draft.)
Ottawa didn't get much from the players it selected; only Sylvain Turgeon (pictured above) finished in the top three in team scoring, and was the only expansion pick to record more than 15 goals. That might explain why the Senators went an abysmal 10-70-4 in their first year, setting an NHL record for fewest road wins in a season (one).
Here are the 21 players the Senators selected in the expansion draft:
Peter Sidorkiewicz (selected from Hartford)
Sidorkiewicz, a one-time Calder Trophy finalist, had a dreadful season in the Canadian capital, winning just eight of his 64 appearances while leading the NHL in goals against. He was dealt to New Jersey the following summer in a five-player deal that netted the Senators netminder Craig Billington, among others, and played just four more NHL games after that.
Mark Laforest (selected from N.Y. Rangers)
* played for AHL's New Haven Senators
Laforest was solid in back-to-back seasons for the Rangers' American Hockey League affiliate before being plucked by the Senators; he made just two appearances for Ottawa, both during the 1993-94 season, before bolting for the International Hockey League during the 1994-95 lockout. He wrapped up his playing career in 1997 with Utica of the Colonial Hockey League.
Brad Shaw (selected from New Jersey)
It was a rough two years in Ottawa for Shaw, who finished with the league's fourth-worst plus-minus in the Senators' inaugural campaign. Shaw was made team captain in 1993-94, posted a 4-19-23 line with a -41 rating in 66 games, and spent the majority of the next four seasons in the IHL. He retired in 1999 and has been an NHL assistant/associate coach since 2006.
Darren Rumble (selected from Philadelphia)
Like Shaw, Rumble spent just two seasons with the Senators - and like Shaw, they were difficult campaigns. Rumble posted nine goals, 31 points, and a -74 rating in 139 games with the Senators before rediscovering his offensive touch in the AHL, recording three straight 50-point seasons. It never did translate to the NHL, however, as he had just 36 points in 193 career games.
Dominic Lavoie (selected from St. Louis)
Lavoie's playing days in North America were nearly spent by the time he arrived in Ottawa; he spent most of his only season with the Sens in the AHL, recording 43 points in 53 games. Stints with Boston and Los Angeles preceded a move overseas, where Lavoie split the final 10 years of his career between Felkirch VEU of the Austrian League and the Hannover Scorpions of the German League.
Brad Miller (selected from Buffalo)
Many sports fans know about former NBA center Brad Miller, and current Tampa Bay Rays infielder Brad Miller - but they may not know there was an NHL version, too. He made more of an impact with his fists, recording just one goal, five assists, and 321 penalty minutes in 82 career NHL games; he spent his final six seasons in the IHL, where he also punched faces.
Ken Hammond (selected from Vancouver)
Hammond, an eighth-round pick of the Kings in 1983, had played for the expansion Sharks the year before being plucked by the Senators, so being on a first-year team had kind of become his thing. Ottawa represented his final taste of NHL action; he played with Providence of the AHL in 1993-94 before wrapping up his career with the IHL's Kansas City Blades.
Kent Paynter (selected from Winnipeg)
Paynter didn't make much of an impact in his NHL career, recording one goal and adding three assists in 37 games. His Senators tenure was equally drab - one assist and a -13 rating in 15 games before he fled for the IHL for the final four years of his career. His only NHL goal came against Daniel Berthiaume, who also played for the Sens during their inaugural season.
John Van Kessel (selected from Los Angeles)
* played for AHL's New Haven Senators
Never heard of Van Kessel? It's okay; most hockey fans haven't. He never played in an NHL game, spending 1992-93 between the AHL and IHL and kicking around the minors for a few more seasons before wrapping up his career in Germany. Fun fact: Van Kessel was selected 49th overall in 1988, ahead of Mark Recchi, Rob Blake, and Alex Mogilny, among others. Oops!
Sylvain Turgeon (selected from Montreal)
Turgeon was expected to be the centerpiece of Ottawa's offense; the former No. 2 overall pick had two 40-goal seasons in Hartford to his credit, and was still in his prime when the Senators selected him. But he topped out at a high of 25 goals in three seasons with Ottawa, then left the NHL in 1995-96 for stings in the IHL, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany.
Mike Peluso (selected from Chicago)
It's fair to say the Senators knew what they were getting from a guy who had led the entire NHL with 408 penalty minutes the season before. But even though Peluso pretty much did as expected - racking up 318 PIMs in 81 games - he also showed some scoring touch, finishing fifth on the team in goals. He would net just 13 more tallies over his final five campaigns.
Rob Murphy (selected from Vancouver)
A second-round pick of the Canucks in 1987, Murphy never did reach his full potential following four impressive campaigns in the QMJHL. The Senators couldn't get much out of him, either, and cut him loose after one season. He spent the next four seasons in the IHL before a six-year stint in Germany and one year in the Quebec Senior Men's Hockey League.
Mark Lamb (selected from Edmonton)
Lamb was by no means flashy, but he was a serviceable depth option for a Senators team that was woefully short on experience. Lamb finished with 18 goals and 55 points in parts of two seasons with Ottawa before being traded to Philadelphia for Claude Boivin in March 1994. He finished playing in 2000, then spent time as an assistant coach with the Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars.
Jim Thomson (selected from Los Angeles)
Thomson was another bruising forward with a penchant for dropping the gloves; the 6-foot-1 winger had racked up 162 penalty minutes in just 45 games with the Kings the season before. But he was a pivotal piece for the Sens, who sent him back to L.A. in December in a four-player deal that allowed them to acquire perennial 20-goal scorer Bob Kudelski.
Lonnie Loach (selected from Detroit)
Loach had turned heads in 1991, racking up 131 points in 81 games with Fort Wayne to win the International Hockey League scoring title by 11 points over linemate and future NHL head coach Bruce Boudreau. But Loach couldn't duplicate his success in the NHL, posting just 23 points in 56 games before plying his trade in the AHL, Switzerland, the Alpenligue, and the UHL.
Laurie Boschman (selected from New Jersey)
Boschman was one of the Senators' most established players; the former first-round pick had nearly 1,000 NHL games on his resume with the Maple Leafs, Oilers, Jets, and Devils. He reached the 1,000-game plateau in an Ottawa uniform but called it quits at season's end, returning for a seven-game stint with the British Hockey League's Fife Flyers in 1994-95.
Mark Freer (selected from Philadelphia)
Freer wasn't much of an offensive threat, but still managed an NHL personal-best 10 goals despite a -35 rating with the Senators. He signed with the Calgary Flames the following offseason but spent the majority of 1993-94 in the AHL, averaging better than a point per game. He played the next five seasons in the IHL before returning to the Philadelphia organization with the Phantoms.
Chris Lindberg (selected from Calgary)
* played for Calgary Flames
The Flames really didn't want to part with Lindberg, whom they had signed as a free agent in 1991. So, they dealt defenseman Mark Osiecki to the Senators in order to reacquire their prized forward. The deal didn't really work out for either side; Lindberg departed for Quebec as a free agent the following offseason, while Ottawa placed Oseicki on waivers in February 1993.
Jeff Lazaro (selected from Boston)
The Waltham, Mass., native was nothing more than a depth forward with the Bruins, but Lazaro showed decent offensive promise between Ottawa and New Haven (12 goals, 13 assists in 27 games). Yet, his Senators stint represented the last of his NHL playing experience, as he spent his final nine seasons between the AHL, ECHL, Germany, and Austria.
Darcy Loewen (selected from Buffalo)
Power forwards were all the rage in the late 80s and early 90s, which explains how Loewen was a third-round pick; he averaged a point per game over his final two WHL seasons while racking up 425 penalty minutes in that span. But he was all fists, no hands in the NHL, registering 12 points and 211 PIMs in 135 games. He finished his playing career in the West Coast Hockey League.
Blair Atcheynum (selected from Hartford)
Atcheynum, a third-round pick of the Whalers in 1989, had 138 points in his final junior season but never saw the ice with Hartford and barely featured for Ottawa. He rejuvenated his career in 1997-98, playing 61 games with the St. Louis Blues before being claimed by Nashville in the Predators' expansion draft. he was later dealt back to St. Louis before finishing his career with Chicago.
(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)
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