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Sens, City Archives team up to preserve history

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Senators president Cyril Leeder look over a bid book that was presented to the NHL in 1990 to obtain the current Ottawa franchise. It is among the artifacts being turned over to the City of Ottawa Archives for preservation (Ottawa Senators Hockey Club).

It's literally a quick trip through Ottawa's historic hockey past.

As part of the Senators' 20th anniversary celebrations, the hockey club and the City of Ottawa Archives have announced a new parternship that includes a historical exhibit that will occupy space on the 200-level of Scotiabank Place for the coming season.

Among the artifacts on display include the stick and jersey used by Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson during his 1,000th National Hockey League game, a scoresheet from the first Senators game played at the Ottawa Civic Centre on Oct. 8, 1992, a 1922-23 world champions game-worn jersey, and a 1927 Senators team photo and a copy of the bid book that was submitted to the National Hockey League to obtain the current franchise.

"We want to tell that story (of hockey in Ottawa) to our fans so that they're aware of the history and all the stories that go along with it," said Senators president Cyril Leeder.

The display is merely the beginning of a collaboration between the Senators and the City Archives to house and preserve the wealth of hockey memorabilia currently owned by both sides. Leeder said the partnership is "a perfect fit" for the Senators, especially during their season of celebration.

"We can work with them to make sure we preserve the history," said Leeder. "We're 20 years into (collecting) the stuff we have and we're wondering 'what do we do with some of this stuff?' We're not geared up to be able to preserve it properly ourselves, but the Archives can certainly do that."

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson expressed his support for a project that will "hold this piece of memorabilia in trust so that we can share it with future generations"

"Sport is truly an opportunity and a means for the community to rally together and I'm pleased the Ottawa Senators and the City of Ottawa are partnering to celebrate our storied hockey history and make these wonderful artifacts accessible for people to enjoy."

The collection is being housed at the new Ottawa Archives building located at 100 Tallwood Drive, near the intersection of Woodroffe Avenue. Some of it will occasionally be put on display there at the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame's new location at City Hall, which opens Nov. 7.

"We are pleased to work with the Ottawa Senators to help preserve Ottawa's sports history," said city archivist Paul Henry, adding the intent is to help people "learn about the great game of hockey in Ottawa."

While the memorabilia collection is already quite impressive, the Senators and the Archives are encouraging local residents to consider donating any artifacts they may own for permanent preservation. Items can be dropped off at Gate 1 at Scotiabank Place, or contact Karen Ruttan at 613-599-0305 or

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