The past year was a crazy one. Not only did our website make the jump from Blogger to Bloguin and diversify our brand with podcasts, but the Senators experienced some ups and downs and ultimately, it made them that much more enjoyable to follow and discuss. When you're writing about your favorite professional sports team, it's amazing how quickly time flies by. On behalf of Tim, I'd just like to thank our readers who visited our website, took the time to read our skewed vision of the Ottawa Senators and helped make 2009 such a successful year for us. Now that the year has drawn to a close, here is The 6th Sens take on the year that was.
Story of the Year - The Dany Heatley Trade
When TSN broke the news publicly that Dany Heatley had requested a trade from the Ottawa Senators, my first thought was one of surprise that the news broke without any precursor or rumour. My second thought was that I nailed the prediction I made in December '08, after Heatley spoke out against the media following a loss and set the wheels in motion for his departure. From the time of Heatley's trade demand to the moment he was dealt, it was harder to get away from any Heatley related news than it was to walk up to the main gate of Scotiabank Place last season and escape the gaze of Heatley's dilated eye. This website alone probably devoted 15-30 pieces to the two time 50-goal scorer but my favorites included: one that featured some correspondence with Tom Molloy the neighbour who stood up for him; a piece chronicling detracting comments by the Los Angeles Kings Ron Hextall; captioned pictures of Heatley's arrival at a Calgary airport; and an article that trashed Heatley for throwing Cory Clouston under the bus.
Honorable Mentions: Mike Fisher's engagement to Carrie Underwood; Bryan Murray's 2009 trade deadline moves; Craig Hartsburg's firing and Cory Clouston's subsequent promotion; and Ottawa misses the playoffs for the first time in years. (Or for the frontrunning bandwagon jumping fans who came aboard during the 2000s, the first time ever.)
Videos of the Year
Many were offended by Dany Heatley's refusal to void his No-Trade Clause and accept a trade to the Edmonton Oilers. None more so than Hitler.
Carrie Underwood's public acknowledgment of her relationship has come a long way from this infamous moment during a Senators game last February.
Even when the Senators were struggling last season, it was moments like this that brought a smile to our faces.
The Best & Worst Media Moments
With a reputation as a media watchdog whenever the topic of the Ottawa Senators is broached, it's only fitting that I post some links to the best and worst that the media had to offer in 2009.
- The Toronto Sun's Mike Zeisberger discusses the Maple Leafs' inherent right to draft John Tavares ahead of an unlikely, albeit struggling, Senators team.
- Doug Fischer wrote a piece that chronicled how and why Zdeno Chara left Ottawa last March. Even though it was a brilliant and informative read, it also had Senators fans crying themselves to sleep for weeks.
- It was a busy summer for Don Brennan. From the orchestrated hi-jacking of the Dany Heatley press conference during the summer to running Heatley's name through the gutter, Brennan had it covered. Here is Tim's analysis of Don's summer of violence.
- And who could ever forget the work done by a Kelowna Daily Courier reporter who braved the elements and knocked on Dany Heatley's front door.
- Or Ian Mendes' moving appeal to the Ottawa media to refrain from TMZ-style reporting at Jason Spezza's wedding.
Other Memorable Sens Moments From '09
- “Anybody that says we should blow up this organization should get their own bomb and blow themselves up. O.K.?” ~ Eugene Melnyk
- The removal of Dany Heatley's visage from the main gate at SBP.
- The Milan Michalek hat-trick and the formation of Michalek's Anonymous.
- Erik Karlsson being named the best defenceman at the '09 World Junior Championships held in Ottawa.
- I loved how Eugene Melnyk's tendency to hug people during 2009 resulted in headlines. The hugging of John Tavares, PK Subban and Pat Quinn was nothing but no-strings attached affection.
- Dany Heatley kills a trade to the Edmonton Oilers and unintentionally lets Senators fans know that even though he hates it here and has demanded a deal. He'd still rather play here than in Edmonton.
- Jarkko Ruutu eats Andrew Peters' finger and jokes about it during the Skills Competition.
- Craig Hartsburg reveals that Brian Elliott will spend the rest of the 08-09 season in Ottawa, thereby effectively ending the Martin Gerber era in Ottawa.
- Bruce Garrioch's last rumour of '09 was true - Mike Fisher's engagement to Carrie Underwood.