In the relatively short history of the Ottawa Senators, they have had many moments for the history books. They rostered many great teams, alongside many great players. Despite having so many fantastic players, only two have eclipsed the 100-point plateau. One of these players is the greatest Senator ever, while the other is one of the best pure goal scores to ever wear the uniform – who did it twice. Let’s revisit the 100-point seasons of Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley. But first, two players who came close to 100 points but fell just short.
Honourable Mention: Alexei Yashin
For several years the Sens record for points in a single season was Alexei Yashin’s 44-goal and 50-assist season in 1998-99. His record stood until the 2005-06 season. He was, at that point, likely the best player to ever wear the Senators uniform. Even with an ugly departure from Ottawa in 2001, he still had the lion’s share of Senators’ glory. In 1998-99, the Senators began a dominant late ’90s to mid-2000s run. It is very likely that he could have been the first Sen to get 100 points if the Sens had a little more talent. At the time, the Senators were a good team, but not yet the offensive powerhouse that they became known for.
Yashin’s 94 points were first on the team by an overwhelming 38 points. Shawn McEachern’s 56 points were the closest, as Alfredsson appeared to have taken a step back. It is speculation, but if the Senators had some more offensive talent that season, Yashin likely would have reached 100 points.
Honourable Mention: Jason Spezza
Jason Spezza was an underrated cog in the Senators offensive machine for many years. During the 2005-06 campaign, he had established himself as a number one centre, with a 90-point campaign in only 68 games. If this was applied over a full 82-game season, he was on pace for a 108-point season. He upped the ante the following season.
Spezza once again finished on pace for 100 points, had he played a full season. That season he had 87 points in 67 games; a 108 point pace. Finally, in 2007-08, he had a career season with 34 goals and 58 assists. As of the 2019-20 season, his 92 points are the highest point total from a Senator since the 2006-07 season. Had he been able to avoid the injury bug, it is very possible that he could have broken the 100-point barrier multiple times.
Daniel Alfredsson came into the Sens organization under the radar. After starting his junior career with Vastra Frolunda HC in the Swedish Hockey League, the Senators drafted him in the sixth round as the 133rd pick in 1994. He remains the highest scorer of the 1994 Draft. When he made his debut for Ottawa in the 1995-96 season, he arrived out of nowhere.
Alfredsson was a good player his entire career, averaging 74 points a season for his first nine seasons. It was in the 2005-06 season where he made his star presence known. As a member of the “Pizza Line,” he set a career-high in goals, assists and points. He started the season on an absolute tear. At the end of November, he was averaging nearly two points a game with 40 in 22 games. This also included an incredible four-goal, six-point game against the Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 2.
At the Olympic break, Alfredson was at an incredible pace with 73 points in 52 games. When the season began again, he did return to his normal scoring pace with 30 points in 25 games. Alfredsson achieved his 100th point with an assist during his 76th game of the season, a loss to the Maple Leafs on April 13. He is actually one of the oldest to ever score 100 in a season.
Related: Sharks With 100-Point Seasons
Alfredsson actually only played in 77 games that season, so he very well could have had more. If he had continued his pace of 1.33 points per game, he would have had 109 points. If not for another Senator keeping pace with him that season, he could have a team record. He finished the 2005-06 season with 43 goals and 60 assists. His 103 points tied a Senators’ record that was established with Dany Heatley in the same season.
When the 2005-06 season rolled around in Ottawa, the Senators had spent the 2000s dominating the regular season. After the Sens suffered another playoff loss the prior year, changes needed to be made. Dany Heatley arrived in Ottawa via a trade with the Atlanta Thrashers in 2005 and he was already quite the scorer. His time in Atlanta was amazing, despite coming to an unfortunate end. In leaving the Thrashers, he established himself as one of the greatest scorers in franchise history.
Heatley, like Alfredsson, started on fire. To begin the season, he had a 22-game point streak. Over those 22 games, he had 38 points, including 17 goals with a four-goal performance against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 29. Over the next 60 games, his pace slowed to just over a point per game. That being said, he reached 100 points on April 13 in an OT loss to the Florida Panthers. In a dramatic final game of the season, he reached his 50th goal in a win over the New York Rangers.
“One of the best deals I was ever associated with.”
Ottawa’s then-general manager John Muckler on the Dany Heatley trade
From “RESPECT AT LONG LAST,” Mclean’s Magazine, 06/04/2007
To this day, Heatley is the only Senator to score 50 goals in a single season. In his first season with the Sens, he finished with 50 goals and 53 assists. This tied the Senators franchise record for points with Alfredsson, who as previously mentioned reached the same point total.
Heatley Reaches 100 Again
After a great regular season but a disappointing playoff campaign, Heatley was primed for yet another amazing performance. The Sens had a number of expectations attached to them for the 2006-07 season, and he didn’t disappoint. Unlike the previous season, he didn’t start the season on fire. Averaging just over a point per game over the first two months of the season, and not scoring until the sixth game of the season.
Heatley truly caught fire once the season was in full swing. From Nov. 24 until the end of the season, he averaged 1.35 points per game, and once again scored 50 goals, leading the team to the Stanley Cup Final.
Heatley finished the season with 50 goals and 55 assists for 105 points. This set a new Senators record that as of the 2019-20 season has yet to been surpassed. Ever since then, the 50-in-07 moniker has stuck. With the back-to-back 50-goal seasons, and breaking the record set by he and Alfredsson the previous season, he went down in franchise history as arguably the greatest goal scorer the team ever had.
A Lasting Impact on Sens History
When we look back on the only two 100-point scorers for the Senators, we see that over the greater part of the last decade, the Sens have lacked genuine star power up front. With all due respect to players like Mark Stone, Bobby Ryan and Mike Hoffman, they were not bonafide stars. With the departure of Spezza in 2014, the last remnants of the former stars in Ottawa were gone.
Erik Karlsson was a star without question, but not as a goal scorer. The Sens haven’t had a 100-point scorer since Heatley in 2007, and only Spezza has come close. Even when the Sens made it to the Eastern Conference Final in 2017, they lacked a star outside of Karlsson.
Perhaps with the upcoming wave of Senators prospects, and the potential to draft two franchise players in the 2020 Draft, this may change for the better.
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My name is Ben Fraser, i’ve been involved with hockey since I was eleven years old. I’m currently pursuing a journalism degree at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, while living in Ottawa, Ontario during my time off. I’ve been playing hockey since I was eleven, and writing since I was fourteen.