The 1998-99 season was a landmark campaign for the Ottawa Senators. Following years of losing since rejoining the NHL in 1992, the Senators established franchise marks for wins (44) and points (103) before being swept in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Buffalo Sabres.
It was a pivotal season for a young, up-and-coming club, but one that saw assistant general manager Ray Shero leave for the Nashville Predators. By season's end, general manager Rick Dudley left to join the Tampa Bay Lightning barely a year after taking the Ottawa job. Suddenly, the main front-office tasks fell on new general manager Marshall Johnston and his right-hand man, Trevor Timmins. Both men's backgrounds were in scouting, so the Senators decided to hire someone to help with legal and managerial tasks.
Their choice was 35-year-old Peter Chiarelli, an Ottawa native and agent/lawyer who today is among the NHL's premier GMs and on the cusp of winning his second Stanley Cup in three seasons with the Boston Bruins.
"We decided we needed somebody to come in and do contracts, look after the day-to-day business," Timmins told NHL.com. "That's how Peter got into this side of the business from the agent business. He was doing all the contract stuff, doing other legal stuff for the organization."