What Happened Last Time the Ottawa Senators Went to Sweden?
It’s November 2017, and the Ottawa Senators are making their way to Sweden to face off against the Colorado Avalanche in the NHL’s Global Series. The Sens are looking to prove that their trip to the eastern conference finals the season prior was not a fluke and establish themselves as a true Stanley Cup Contender.
The Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche are most likely picked as the two teams to face off in this series due to both teams’ captains being Swedish Born in Erik Karlsson and Gabriel Landeskog.
Suddenly, Pierre Dorion, the General Manager of the Ottawa Senators completes a blockbuster deal in order to acquire disgruntled superstar center Matt Duchene who demanded a trade from the Avalanche in order to play in playoff hockey. His first game with the Sens is against his former team. What could go wrong?
The Senators enter the series confident and are able to win the first game in overtime after Mark Stone scored the game-tying goal, followed by the Overtime Winner. The Sens win 4-3. Duchene was not able to score in his first game with the Senators, but not for the lack of trying.
In the second and final game, Mike Hoffman propels the Senators to yet another 4-3 win, this time in regulation. The Sens swept the Avalanche in the Sweden Series.
The Global Series would be a success for the Ottawa Senators. Unfortunately, the success would not last long and they would immediately lose their next 7 games upon returning to North America, and lose 9 out of their next 10 games.
The Ottawa Senators would essentially go from a Stanley Cup Contender to becoming among the biggest jokes in the entire NHL. The locker room would grow to be incredibly toxic as there were reportedly different factions forming within the team. Most notably the Erik Karlsson faction and the Mike Hoffman faction. Of course, all of this is speculation and rumor, followed by a few mentions from some media members around the team at the time. It sounded like pretty much everyone hated each other and turned on one another. Things would not go any better as the head coach Guy Boucher would continue to cancel team practices, preaching that “rest is a weapon” and would begin to lose the team.
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This season would end horribly for the Senators as they would finish the year with a 28-43-11 record, good for second last in the entire NHL, and would end up picking fourth overall in the NHL draft that year. That draft pick would also go down in infamy as many Sens Fans (myself included) would be extremely critical of the selection of Brady Tkachuk, but later on, he would win the fanbase over and is the current captain of the team, leading the rebuild that would basically begin the second the Ottawa Senators came back from Sweden.
The Ottawa Senators will again be making their way to Sweden this season to face off in the NHL’s Global Series in the 2023-24 season.