Monday, October 10, 2011

Photo Diary: Reliving Opening Night 1992-93

Our 20th home opener is less than 24 hours away, but it seems like just yesterday that I was a kid at the Civic Centre attending the first NHL regular season game in decades in awe. I don't remember all that much of it, I just remember being excited and thrilled to be able to watch it live instead of being on TV. I didn't know how bad we were going to be, and frankly I wouldn't have cared anyway. I was just happy to be there. With the 20th anniversary home opener tomorrow, I thought let's go back in time and get nostalgic for the inaugural home opener photo diary Sens Town style.

Before get to things with the game, let's go back a little bit more. Without this campaign and the support of the people of Ottawa, there would never have been an inaugural game to attend. I will never get tired of this poster. It's one of my prized possessions and always makes me smile.

The original team photo poster complete with schedule. I didn't know it at the time but man was that a bad bunch of players. Can you name more than 5 guys? If so bravo. See all those games on the schedule? Ya we won all of 10 of them that season. No seriously, TEN!!! How insane is that to hear now? Put it this way, the Oilers came in last place in the league last year and they won 25. Sort of a big difference.

This is THE ticket in Senators history. I was lucky enough to be there and this was my ticket. It's still one of my favorite things I own and what got you into the building to experience the city history live and in person. In a season full of embarrassing lows, we managed to beat the eventual Stanley Cup champion Canadiens 5-3. It was a night I'll never forget.

The inaugural game was full of goodies for the lucky fans in attendance. Here is the first season puck front. I have to say I still really like that original logo, especially because it still says Ottawa Senators at that point before the changed it.

And here is the back of the puck to commemorate the opening game and the 9 Stanley Cups we had one in the previous incarnation of the Senators. I haven't seen too many of these kicking around anymore, so it's a cool piece of Sens memorabilia.

Speaking of those 9 Stanley Cup wins, here's a page from the program that lists all our wins and every Sens player with their name on the cup. Awesome to see how dominant we were. Let's hope it returns one day soon.

Time for another goodie from that night, this time a cone to yell into and make yourself louder when cheering on the Sens. Complete with opening night date and year plus the bilingual sponsorship by Coke. Full disclosure, I haven't ever used this ever, but a cool piece nevertheless.

The cover of the inaugural night bodycheck program from that night. Most notable? The $8.00 price. It doesn't seem that bad now but remember this was 20 years ago. A bit pricy but best $8.00 I've ever spent. I'm glad I still have my copy in excellent condition. This kills the Score magazine they give out now. I love the simple clean look they went with. Timeless.

Another beauty from the program, a frame by frame account of the opening goal in the pre-season against the Hartford Whalers by Neil Brady, who also scored the first goal in the opening game as well. I miss the Whale.

The front of the opening night line-up sheet. You can tell it's old school when it's sponsored by Loed. The #6 and #20 are Ken Hammond and Andrew McBain respectively, which seem like an odd choice. I wish they still had these with the proper updated stats instead of the accurate as of 4 days ago that they have now, especially for a $1. You can't beat that.

And the inside of the lineup, featuring all the original Ottawa Senators players, as well as the roster of the future Stanley Cup champion Montreal Canadiens. Love that Roy MacGregor cartoon. Anyone remember Rick Mayoh or John MacKinnon covering the Sens? I sure don't.

The opening ceremony program, that was posted before this post if you want to see it. At the time I remember thinking it was pretty spectacular in person. Now after watching it again, is it ever cheesy. I guess that's what 20 years will do. Funny that Brian Orser was involved. The only lingering question that has troubled me for so many years is I wonder what Brian Boitano would do?

The program features a profile of every player but instead of pictures, they went with drawn portraits. I chose to go with Mike Peluso because A) he was a fan favorite and B) look at that beauty mullet. The 90's hockey style was amazing. If you have the program, I urge you to look through it and gaze upon the awesome haircuts and mustaches. You will not be disappointed.

This is definitely a piece of Sens history I cherish. The opening night coin they handed out at the game. I rarely see anyone with these and I imagine that 20 years later many have lost track of them. It's a great reminder of a great night when hockey came back into town.

And the back of the coin. It seems Coca Cola says it best, proud sponsor of historic opening night. That's what it was, it was history and a night I'm proud to be able to say I attended.

And finally, the back cover of the program, with a welcome back to the Senators. I would add more, but surprisingly this is perfectly put. It's been a great 19 years hasn't it? And with the next chapter, our 20th home opener tomorrow, it keeps getting better. There's been ups and downs, but it's about the journey, not the destination.

If you are feeling nostalgic and want to watch the inaugural game, you're lucky it's online in its entirety. You can watch it here.


1 comment:

boobs said...

My beer league often plays at the Civic Centre, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel just a little awesome about playing that the same ice saw the Senators return.

I was too young (and too far away at the time) to ever experience this, but thanks for the nice photos!