With the end of the season coming, and the Ottawa Senators being mathematically eliminated from the post-season, I figure’d it was time to start looking back on some happier points in the Franchise’s history. Why not start with the season the Ottawa Senators reached the Eastern Conference Finals?
Dorion’s First Season as GM Brought Lot’s of Trades
Entering the season, expectations were high as ever with newly named General Manager Pierre Dorion taking the reigns from longtime GM Bryan Murray. Upon Dorion’s promotion from AGM to GM, he immediately said he expected to make the playoffs.
From the get-go, it was clear that Dorion wanted the playoffs. His first move as General Manager was to acquire a more proven top 6 centre in Derick Brassard. With the Senators, Brassard would score 14 goals and 25 assists for 39 points in his first season. His impact would be more felt in the postseason, where he would score 4 goals and 7 assists for 11 points in 19 playoff games. He would be 4th in team points during the postseason.
The season would begin, and Craig Anderson needed to take a personal leave as his wife, Nicholle, would get diagnosed with cancer. Anderson would miss the next few months in order to support his wife through her treatment, and thankfully she would go into remission. Thankfully for the Senators, GM Pierre Dorion would decided to shore up the backup goaltending position by acquiring Mike Condon from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a fifth round pick. Condon would play tremendously with the Senators as his role was elevated to starter while Anderson was away. Condon would suit up in 26 games in a row, and play 40 altogether. In these 40 games, he would post a record of 19-14-6 while posting a .914 Save Percentage and 2.50 Goals Against Average.
In January, Dorion would decide to acquire some depth scoring as he acquired forward Tommy Wingels from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for minor pieces that would not play any importance to the Sharks up until today.
Nearing the trade deadline, he would acquire more depth. He would acquire Alexandre Burrows from the Vancouver Canucks, and Viktor Stalberg from the Carolina Hurricanes. Burrows would serve as a middle six option while Stalberg would play mainly in the bottom 6, with the aforementioned Wingels. It would be Stalberg’s final NHL season before making the move to play in Europe, where he still plays to this day. Burrows was acquired to serve as a replacement for Clarke MacArthur, as he would struggle with concussion issues before coming back in the playoffs.