Stanley Cup to Return to Ottawa for 125th Anniversary
The Stanley Cup will be returning to Ottawa in 2017 whether the Senators make the NHL playoffs or not. However with the famous competition celebrating its 125th anniversary and the Senators team themselves celebrating their 25th anniversary, all in the same year as Canada’s 150th birthday, it would certainly make it even more of a special event for the nation if Pierre Dorion’s side were to reach their first final since 2007. With a whole host of celebrations taking place in order to commemorate such anniversaries, it is certain to be a momentous year.
On the ice, the Senators have made a solid start to the new season, with their 10-7-1 record leaving them third in the Atlantic Division NHL standings. Despite holding one of the eight playoff spots from the East, attendances at Canadian Tire Centre have been disappointing, with the Senators yet to sell out any of their eleven home games. They have averaged just 14,494 fans per outing, which is 24th in the league and last among the seven Canadian NHL teams. According to a recent infographic, teams hoping to reach the playoffs must win around 60% of their regular season games, something which the Senators were nowhere near achieving last season.
Injuries to the likes of Mike Hoffman, Bobby Ryan and Clarke MacArthur have certainly not helped the team, however they continue to struggle offensively, with a combined two-goal output in back to back losses against the Nashville Predators and Florida Panthers last week only further demonstrating their lack of firepower. Findings also show that teams making the playoffs must score an average of 2.89 goals per game, something the Senators must improve upon if they are to reach the Stanley Cup in their own city.
However, even if the Senators fail to reach the finals in Ottawa, the city is already preparing for mass celebrations from March to October of next year. Kicking off in March with a gala at the Canadian Museum of History, before fans will have the opportunity to see the Stanley Cup for itself, with David Johnston bringing the famous trophy back to Ottawa.
Elsewhere, a Stanley Cup tribute concert will be held at the Canadian Tire centre on March 17, before a Stanley Cup monument is unveiled on Sparks Street just a day later. Should the Senators be able to follow in the footsteps of the Pittsburgh Penguins from last season, it would certainly be the icing on the cake for all of Canada, Ottawa and the NHL.