A hockey history: Sens mark 20-year anniversary this season (Plus, win tickets!)

Sens' fans cheer on their team earlier this year (Photo credit: Matt Zambonin)

This hockey season marks a big year for both our beloved Ottawa Senators and the community itself.

Did you know the team was turning 20 this season? Perhaps you’ve seen the black, red and white-striped heritage jersey around town — the one emblazoned with an unmistakable ‘O’. And Ottawa’s also hosting the 2012 All-Stars game come January — plus all the fun festivities that go along with that.

So in celebration of #Sens20, we thought we’d share with you 20 fun — and perhaps unknown — facts about our Ottawa Senators and the history of hockey in general.

  1. Ottawa’s first hockey club was founded in 1884 after two locals were inspired by a game of organized hockey in Montreal. First named the Ottawa Hockey Club, this team went on to become the original Ottawa Senators.
  2. The original Sens won 11 Stanley Cups before being moved to St. Louis in 1934 during the Great Depression.
  3. The Senators played their first NHL game against Montreal on Dec. 19, 1917 at Dey’s Arena. (They lost.)
  4. The 1926-27 Stanley Cup playoffs is largely recognized as the first Stanley Cup Championship of the modern era … And the Sens won!
  5. There was a 58-year gap between the time the orignal Sens left  and when the revamped franchise returned on Oct. 8, 1992.
  6. Captain Daniel Alfredsson is the Ottawa Senator who’s played the most games with the franchise, at 1,056 before the start of this season.
  7. Hockey used to be played with seven players on the ice.
  8. Winnipeg is touted as the birthplace of the puck drop-style ‘faceoff’.
  9. The birthplace of ice hockey is still contested, though most research puts it in Windsor, N.S.
  10. While 19 NHL have become either defunct or relocated, the Ottawa Senators and the Winnipeg Jets are the only teams to have come back with names in tact.
  11. One of the original Ottawa Senators made up half of the first family to have a father and son both win the Stanley Cup. Jack McNell won with Ottawa in 1920 & 1921, and his son Fleming McNell won with Toronto in 1949 & 1951.
  12. Ottawa’s Harry ‘Punch’ Broadbent scored at least one goal in 16 consecutive games during the 1921-22 season — an NHL record that still stands today.
  13. Throughout its history, there has been two years when the Stanley Cup was not rewarded: In 1919, due to a flu epidemic and in 2005, over that season’s NHL lockout.
  14. 1970 marked the first year NHL players’ names were added to the back of their jerseys. (First by the now-defunct California Seals.)
  15. The youngest NHL player was 16.
  16. The youngest NHL coach was 25.
  17. The oldest NHL player was 52.
  18. The oldest NHL coach was 64.
  19. The 20th anniversary heritage jersey will be worn 12 times this season. (Well, 11 after the team donned it during Opening Night again the Colorado Avalanche.)
  20. You can win 4 tickets to tomorrow night’s game against the Winnipeg Jets by commenting on this post, retweeting us on Twitter and liking our Sens’ link on Facebook. **

** For those who care about this kind of stuff, the tickets will be in the Coca-Cola Family Fun Zone, which means no alcohol.

Have an interesting memory of the Ottawa Senators you’d like to share? Enter the contest by leaving a comment below! Go, Sens, go!