The Ottawa Senators have enjoyed some success at the NHL Awards, with some franchise icons taking home hardware. While the team has lacked pure talent over the last few seasons, the players have been able to show qualities that go beyond hockey. With the award season upon us, here are the Senators who have most recently won each NHL trophy.
When Erik Karlsson arrived in Ottawa in the 2009-10 season, he took the league by storm. He established himself as one of the NHL’s top offensive defensemen, and by 2012, he had transformed into one of the best overall.
When he won his first Norris Trophy in the 2011-12 season he became a household name, not only in Ottawa, but internationally. He recorded 78 points that season, which was a franchise high for defensemen until he broke his own record in 2016. He would win another while in Ottawa, with his second, and most recent coming in 2015, where he set a career-high, as well as established a Senators record for goals by a defenseman with 21.
Despite only winning twice, he was in the conversation every year, finishing second in voting in 2016 and 2017.
The greatest player in franchise history not only captured the hearts of Senators fans due to his outstanding play and term as captain but produced a Calder Trophy-winning season. When Daniel Alfredsson was drafted in the sixth round of the 1994 draft, he wasn’t expected to be an impact player, but when he made his debut in the 1995-96 season, he made his mark and accomplished what no other Senator has done.
The then 23-year-old Swede posted a team-high 61 points on his way to an appearance on the NHL’s all-rookie team, and also captured the franchise’s first Calder Trophy.
Other players like Alexei Yashin, Mike Hoffman, and Mark Stone have been considered for the Calder, but Alfredsson remains as the only Senator to have won it.
Mark Messier Leadership Award
First awarded at the end of the 2006-07 season, the Mark Messier Leadership Award is awarded “to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice during the regular season.” During the 2012-13 lockout-shortened season, Alfredsson led an injury-ridden team that was dubbed the “Pesky Sens.”
Despite injuries to Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek, Karlsson, and Craig Anderson, the Senators made the playoffs, where they reached the Eastern Conference Semifinal. For his efforts, he was awarded the trophy at the NHL Awards in 2013.
King Clancy Memorial Trophy
The King Clancy Memorial Trophy is awarded to the player “who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made a significant humanitarian contribution to his community.” Only one Senator has won this award — Alfredsson took it home in 2012.
Alfredsson, a longtime supporter of the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health, launched his own campaign for the foundation, called “You Know Who I Am,” which raises money to raise awareness for mental health.
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy
Awarded for “perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey,” the trophy can be given to anyone who has shown great fortitude and passion to the game. In the 2016-17 season, Anderson showed that in spades.
Leaving during the season to help his wife Nicole and her bout with cancer, Anderson missed parts of the season but returned to lead the Senators to the Eastern Conference Final. The same season, he recorded his 147th victory for Ottawa, which broke Patrick Lalime’s franchise record.
A lesser-known NHL award, the Viking Award has been awarded to the best Swedish hockey player in North America since 1975. The award is voted on by Swedish players in the NHL, as well as Swedes playing for their affiliate minor leagues. Karlsson has won this award three times, all as a member of the Senators. He was first given the award in 2012 and received it in back to back seasons in 2016, and 2017.
Karlsson is one of only six players to have received the award three times. Only former Toronto Maple Leaf and hall-of-fame center Mats Sundin has more than Karlsson.
Jack Adams Trophy
Two Senators coaches have won the Jack Adams award, the most recent being Paul MacLean in 2012-13. Having been behind the bench for the previously mentioned “Pesky Sens,” he coached through injuries, constant roster turnover, and was still able to make the playoffs. The lockout-shortened season was a major success considering all of the roster and line-up management McLean needed to compensate for. His coaching was deemed to be at an elite level, securing his award at the end of the season.
The Senators finished with a record of 25-17-6, finishing seventh in the Eastern Conference, and matching up with the Montreal Canadiens in the playoffs. Even though the voting for the Jack Adams is finished before the playoffs begin, MacLean added to his resume with a five-game series victory.
MacLean now coaches for the Columbus Blue Jackets, serving as an assistant to multiple-time Jack Adams winner John Tortorella.
Awards Not Yet Won
Hart Trophy: Daniel Alfredsson finished fourth in 2005-06
Art Ross Trophy: Dany Heatley finished fourth in 2006-07
Selke Trophy: Mike Fisher finished third in 2005-06
Vezina Trophy: Craig Anderson finished fourth in 2011-2012
Lady Byng Trophy: Daniel Alfredsson finished third in 2003-04
Maurice Richard Trophy: Dany Heatley finished second in 2006-07
Future Award Winners?
The Senators roster is full of talent, and with more and more prospects beginning to reach the NHL level, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some players in award contention in the near future. Bobby Ryan has the chance to be the second Senator to win the Bill Masterton Award in 2020, as he is one of the three nominees.
With three first-round picks in a very deep 2020 draft and an extensive group of prospects, the 2021-22 season could see not just one, but multiple Senators rookies in contention for the Calder Trophy. If the next wave of talent reaches their potential, we could also see a Senator finally bring another major trophy back to the nation’s capital.