With the news of Tim Stueztle choosing his new number, it had me thinking. The Ottawa Senators have 3 retired Jersey Numbers (4 if you count Wayne Gretzky‘s #99, which was retired throughout the entirety of the NHL after he retired) The Ottawa Senators have retired the following numbers:
# 4 In honour of Chris Phillips,
# 8 In honour of Frank Finnigan,
#11 In honour of Daniel Alfredsson,
While I know that it’s already been talked about, I want to debate which Ottawa Senator has the best chance of their jersey being retired next.
Chris Neil’s #25
Chris Neil is third in all-time games played in an Ottawa Senators uniform with 1026 games under his belt.
While Chris Neil was never a star in the NHL by any means, he is one of three Senators with 1000 games played for the team, the others being aforementioned Chris Phillips and Daniel Alfredsson.
Neil was not a point-a-game player, but he was the heart of the team for a long time. Neil was an enforcer who could do more than just fight. He had 250 points in his time in the NHL, and while that’s not Hall of Fame numbers, it shows he was more than just a hard-hitter.
I mention Neil because he was a fierce leader for the team and always gave his best on, and off the ice.
Neil took over as honorary captain of the Capital City Condors after former teammate Kyle Turris had been traded to the Nashville Predators. For those of you who don’t know who the Condors are, they are a family of hockey teams for children aged 6 and up who can’t play regularly organized hockey due to developmental disabilities.
Jason Spezza’s #19
Jason Spezza was Alfredsson’s successor as captain after the latter signed as a Free Agent with the Detroit Red Wings. Spezza holds the record for most assists in a single season for the Ottawa Senators with 71, which he set back in 2005. He is also 6th all-time in games played for the Sens with 686. Spezza ranks second in goals(251), assists(436) and points(687). All right behind “Alfie”.
Spezza was not only an offensive dynamo for the Sens, he was also a great leader. Hence, taking over as team captain once Alfie moved on. While he was the captain for 1 season, he wore an “A” for many seasons prior. Spezza is a top 5, maybe even top 3 players in Ottawa Senators history.
I don’t think he will get his number retired by the Sens, but out of all the players I considered for this list, he is among the most likely.
Erik Karlsson’s #65
Erik Karlsson is the greatest defenseman in Ottawa Senators history, and some even consider him to be the greatest player that Ottawa has ever seen. While it is definitely an argument to be had, I will stray away from that for now.
Karlsson, or as I like to call him, “Kaptain Karl” is 8th all-time in games played for the Sens with 627. “EK65” is also 9th all-time in goals with 126. He is also third all-time in points with 518.
Here is a little-known fact about Karlsson, he is the second longest-tenured captain in team history, behind none other than Daniel Alfredsson.
I don’t think Karlsson has high chances of seeing his number up in the rafters at the Canadian Tire Center(or wherever the Sens are playing at that point) once he retires, simply based on his dramatic exit with the team, I believe there is definitely the possibility of it being considered.
Craig Anderson’s #41
Craig Anderson leads in virtually every goaltending stat for the Sens. Simply put, he is the greatest goalie in Ottawa Senators history. I am a big fan of Craig Anderson and I believe out of these names, he has the most likeliness of his jersey being retired. Here, you can read my tribute to Andy. According to this page, #41 leads in all major goaltending stats. And in the stats that he does not lead in, he is top 2 in most, except for GAA, where is number 7.
Craig Anderson is the greatest netminder in Ottawa Senators history, and I’ll even go as to say that he is a top 5 player of all time for the team.
Some closing remarks
Who do I think is most likely for this honour? Craig Anderson easily, Chris Neil being second on the list. Who do you think should have made this list?
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @JacobLarivire and feel free to check out my podcast, Talking Some Sens.