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What if the Original Senators Never Folded?

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What if the original Ottawa Senators never moved to St. Louis and then folded? This is the sequel to my study of the Montreal Maroons, and I have to say that this one was much tougher. The biggest question i faced was "Would they drop the Barber Pole stripes?" In my research of the non-NHL teams Ottawa has had since the Senators folded, the barber pole has been everywhere. The city is proud of it, they embrace it, I once heard from a Senators fan discussing new jerseys "If it isn't a barber pole, it sucks." I think the franchise would think much the same, considering they twice wore patches saying how awesome they are.

Their alternate history is a struggle with "is the barber pole ok?" I also figure that this team has won 11 Stanley Cups, and is older than the trophy itself, coming to be in 1883. They were the first powerhouse, and would have a pretty good sway over the league. So without further adieu, the history of the Senators.

The following images are from NHLuniforms.com, the Hockey Uniform Database, to give you a full picture of where I was working from.

1917-21

Senators1.png

1921-22

Senators2.png

1922-23

Senators3.png

1923-24

Senators4.png

1924-27

Senators3.png

1927-28

Senators5.png

1928-29

Senators6.png

1929-30

Senators7.png

1930-31

Senators8.png

1932-34

Senators7.png

After this post, it will be my work

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1934-37

The Senators take a slight change to their sweaters, bringing the white shoulders back from 1931.

OttawaSenators1935-36.jpg?t=1276630009

1937-39

Black pants are added.

OttawaSenators1937-39.jpg?t=1276630009

1939-41

With the Black Hawks copying their barber pole, the Senators are forced to adopt a white sweater for certain games, essentially removing a whole bunch of stripes. The number box also gets bigger

OttawaSenators1939-41.jpg?t=1276630009

1941-45

The striping on the white sweater changes slightly

OttawaSenators1941-45.jpg?t=1276631506

1945-51

The full barber pole is dropped as a black version of the white sweater (and a white logo) are introduced as part of trying to modernize

OttawaSenators1945-49.jpg?t=1276631506

1951-56

The barber pole is brought back...sorta. TV cameras couldn't handle the many stripes, and it looked like a big mess on the CBC, so the Senators enlarge all the stripes

OttawaSenators1951-56.jpg?t=1276631506

The Senators introduce a new logo around the same time as the Black Hawks were redesigning their look. It incorporates the O they had for decades, the Peace Tower from Parliament flying the Red Ensign flag, surrounded by the red and white maple leaves from the National Seal, finished with the three-branched leaves from the symbol on the flag. (I'm no logo designer, I just wanted to add something to the big 0)

OttawaSenators1950slogobig.jpg?t=1276631506

1956-68

The jerseys get simpler, feature the new logo, and look classy on Hockey Night in Canada. this is their "Original Seven" sweater

OttawaSenators1956-68.jpg?t=1276631506

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Oh goodness me, putting leaves around the Peace Tower looks so awesome. Stong work.

The rest of your evolution looks really good, but the Arial numbers are too modern for the '30s and '50s, and too thin against the stripes. Try something more traditional.

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1968-73

With all the crazy new sweater designs of the Class of 1967, the Senators bring back the barber pole on the sleeves

OttawaSenators1968-73.jpg?t=1276631506

1965

The logo updates to the modern Canadian flag.

OttawaSenators1970slogo.jpg?t=1276631506

1973-79

The Senators add names, as per NHL regulation

OttawaSenators1973-79.jpg?t=1276631506

1979-83

Just like the Bruins, the Senators decide to simplify their sweaters, removing a good number of sleeve stripes

OttawaSenators1979-83.jpg?t=1276631506

1983-84

The Senators celebrate their 100th Anniversary, setting the stage for Montreal's a few decades later, by bringing back sweaters from the past, notably the first actual sweater pictured (though with a larger logo and numbers) for use in certain games. Notice on the 1921 sweater, instead of saying "1921-22" for the championship patch, it gives tally marks, implying that there will be more cups in their future. Considering they won 11 prior to 1934, I don't think it's that much of a stretch to think that the original powerhouse would get 6 more by this point.

OttawaSenators1983-84.jpg?t=1276631506

They wear this patch for the season, using their original logo from their Sporting Club days

OttawaSenators100thseasonlogocopy.jpg?t=1276632502

1984-91

Back to the classic sweaters

OttawaSenators1984-91.jpg?t=1276632525

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1991-92

For the NHL's 75th Anniversary, a throwback is introduced. The Senators treat it nonchalantly, they've been there, done that.

OttawaSenators1991-92.jpg?t=1276632525

1992-98

Back to the classic sweaters

OttawaSenators1984-91.jpg?t=1276632525

1998-2007

The Senators get in on the 3rd jersey craze by adding a red alternate. It will remain until the Edge switchover

OttawaSenators1998-2007.jpg?t=1276632525

2007-2009

The RBK Edge switchover did not work well for Ottawa. RBK insists that the barber pole cannot be done with the system (as they recently told the Ottawa 67's in our history), so the Sens do what they can.

OttawaSenators2007-09.jpg?t=1276632525

2009-present

The Senators insist that RBK fix their barber pole sleeves, threatening to sue out of the uniform contract. They get their way. Also, coming full circle, a third jersey is introduced, taking their Edge jerseys and barber-poling the whole thing, making the team come full circle: the Barber Pole is cool again.

OttawaSenators2009-.jpg?t=1276632525

And that's the history of the Senators, if they managed to stick around. I tried for a 20s-ish looking font, and really, number fonts weren't a big focus for me. Honestly, I wish I had more sports-looking fonts.

C&C? Who is next? I was thinking Pittsburgh Pirates, but like the Steelers (who were also originally named the Pirates), i figure the name would have to change after a few years. Thoughts?

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Really well done. The logo is infinitely better than the weirdo pseudo-Roman identity the modern Senators use. The '79-'83 set is my favourite, but there is a lot of really great, well thought out work here.

As for what to tackle next, the flip side of this where the St. Louis Eagles survived could be interesting. Other interesting NHL options could be the Montreal Wanderers (the other defunct original team), the Hamilton Tigers, or the Colorado Rockies. The other direction you could take is to look at some of the PCHA and WCHL teams - ex. the Seattle Metropolitans.

FYI, eriqjaffe has created sports fonts for all four major sports. The link is in his sig here The 'Varsity' fonts in the football package are worth checking out for older style uniforms.

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Really well done. The logo is infinitely better than the weirdo pseudo-Roman identity the modern Senators use. The '79-'83 set is my favourite, but there is a lot of really great, well thought out work here.

As for what to tackle next, the flip side of this where the St. Louis Eagles survived could be interesting. Other interesting NHL options could be the Montreal Wanderers (the other defunct original team), the Hamilton Tigers, or the Colorado Rockies. The other direction you could take is to look at some of the PCHA and WCHL teams - ex. the Seattle Metropolitans.

FYI, eriqjaffe has created sports fonts for all four major sports. The link is in his sig here The 'Varsity' fonts in the football package are worth checking out for older style uniforms.

Please consider the Victoria Cougars!!!! Actually, it would eliminate the Detroit Red Wings if the Cougars were still around.

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Wow, wonderful work again. Do up the Wanderers next!

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Oh... what could've been.

Cool concept. Very well thought out. Knowing Ottawa, I'm sure that at some point they would've introduced some maligned attempt at modernizing a classic look.

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my big problem with the PCHA and the Wanderers, is that their NHL history was so short. The reason I could make a timeline is because the Maroons and Senators had at least a few decades, and a few sweater changes, all conveniently located on nhluniforms.com. With how often they made changes, and what kinds of changes they made, speculation is easy.

As far as i've seen, any info for the PCHA has been sketchy and unorganized, and I've never seen anything for the NHA and Wanderers. If you guys have any information on those things, links of photos or diagrams, please, link them here. I need to have something to work with in order to give this a real shot

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Very cool! I've been looking forward to this for the past few days! I wonder, given your Maroons history, wouldn't it become the "Original 8"? As for the next one I'd like to see the Quebec Bulldogs.

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They wear this patch for the season, using their original logo from their Sporting Club days

OttawaSenators100thseasonlogocopy.jpg?t=1276632502

could they really have gotten away with using this logo? seems a bit too much like the swastika.

or at least thats what people that didn't pay attention to geography, history or hockey would point out.

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I don't see much similarity to the Swastika, other than the radial symmetry and it would make sense to use the old AHAC logo. As for what to do next in the project, I have been working on something similar in my dwindling free time, and have a bunch of possible alternate histories (my favorite is what would have happened if the league allowed Eddie Livingstone to keep the Toronto Blueshirts, which he would eventually have renamed the shamrocks instead of the maple leafs. His chief ally, Percy Quinn, wouldn't have left the league and the Quebec Bulldogs would thus still be around). Here are some interesting possibilities for you.

1 - Instead of granting expansion franchises to the Buffalo Sabres and the Vancouver Canucks (of the PCHA), the league merges with the PCHA, taking in the Vancouver Canucks, Seattle Totems & Denver Spurs (who were both granted a conditional NHL franchise for the 1976-77 season which never happened), the Phoenix Roadrunners (who in reality joined the WHA with the afforementioned Spurs), Portland Buckaroos, and San Diego Gulls. The WHA wouldn't get off the ground, and Buffalo doesn't get it's expansion team in 1970 (though they would get one through relocation in the 80s or 90s. There is no Oilers, Whalers, Jets, or Nordiques, either.

2 - The NHL agrees to an earlier version of the proposed merger with the WHA, taking in the Houston Aeros, Cincinnati Stingers, Birmingham Bulls, and Indianapolis Racers along with the Whalers, Nordiques, Jets, and Oilers.

3 - The Blues are allowed to relocate to Saskatoon in 1983. How long would they have lasted and where would they have gone when the inevitable happened?

4 - The Blackhawks don't block the bid to relocate the Ottawa Senators to Chicago to become the Chicago Shamrocks.

I have a bunch more of these, and my project has been focused more on how the league as a whole would be affected and how the expansions and relocations of the 80s and 90s would be effected, rather than effects on aesthetics, but your approach is very interesting. I think the Senators would have gone for a more modern look rather than keep bringing back the barberpole.

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Very well done. The O/leafs/Peace Tower mark is incredible.

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I love this alternate history Ottawa Senators project. I also love the "Peace Tower-inside-the-'O'-surrounded-by-red-and-white-maple-leaves" logo.

As for who's next, I would say the New York Americans since they were the Rangers' original crosstown rival before the Islanders came to the NHL.

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I think the Senators would have gone for a more modern look rather than keep bringing back the barberpole.

I really struggled with that. Looking at the Original Six teams, only 1 team changed its logo between 1966-2006, and that was Toronto, and it wasn't THAT extreme. The Rangers had only minor changes through its entire history, Detroit has barely had that. The Blackhawks had a number of changes, and considering they copied a barber pole from Ottawa, I started to model on them...and I did end up with their model for logo changes. Considering the 67's and the post-NHL Senators had nothing but barber pole stripes, it was a real struggle coming up with something aside from that. They love it, we love it, and maybe that's partially because it is gone, we have a nostalgia, but i was willing to take that risk. So, I went with a Bruins model of refining and simplifying their original idea. I really did struggle with trying to get rid of the barber pole, and I had some aborted ideas, but in the end, I couldn't imagine this team not holding onto his history like this. It's a matter of opinion, but I'd love to see someone come up with their own interpretation

I don't see much similarity to the Swastika, other than the radial symmetry and it would make sense to use the old AHAC logo. As for what to do next in the project, I have been working on something similar in my dwindling free time, and have a bunch of possible alternate histories (my favorite is what would have happened if the league allowed Eddie Livingstone to keep the Toronto Blueshirts, which he would eventually have renamed the shamrocks instead of the maple leafs. His chief ally, Percy Quinn, wouldn't have left the league and the Quebec Bulldogs would thus still be around). Here are some interesting possibilities for you.

1 - Instead of granting expansion franchises to the Buffalo Sabres and the Vancouver Canucks (of the PCHA), the league merges with the PCHA, taking in the Vancouver Canucks, Seattle Totems & Denver Spurs (who were both granted a conditional NHL franchise for the 1976-77 season which never happened), the Phoenix Roadrunners (who in reality joined the WHA with the afforementioned Spurs), Portland Buckaroos, and San Diego Gulls. The WHA wouldn't get off the ground, and Buffalo doesn't get it's expansion team in 1970 (though they would get one through relocation in the 80s or 90s. There is no Oilers, Whalers, Jets, or Nordiques, either.

2 - The NHL agrees to an earlier version of the proposed merger with the WHA, taking in the Houston Aeros, Cincinnati Stingers, Birmingham Bulls, and Indianapolis Racers along with the Whalers, Nordiques, Jets, and Oilers.

3 - The Blues are allowed to relocate to Saskatoon in 1983. How long would they have lasted and where would they have gone when the inevitable happened?

4 - The Blackhawks don't block the bid to relocate the Ottawa Senators to Chicago to become the Chicago Shamrocks.

Each of these sounds pretty interesting. The only one I've heard of is the "earlier WHA merger" and the Blues to Saskatoon. Do you have any more info on that first one? I think I get what you're getting at, but if more information exists, please link it here.

Really, I have two qualms with these, first, the idea was to push them through to the present regardless of outside factors. Would the Maroons probably survive to today even if it made it past the Depression? I have my doubts, but I pushed them through to the present anyways. To move teams around and discuss anything beyond which cities they move to gets to be pure speculation, rather than historically-based speculation. Could anybody in Winnipeg in 1993 predict Phoenix's uniforms? They couldn't have come close. That's why I hesitate with Quebec Bulldogs and Montreal Wanderers, There isn't enough to go on, it wouldn't be much more than pure imagination. Second, that's a lot of logo creation, which isn't my forte. What would the Blues' name become in Saskatoon? Its logo could be anything, which isn't my thing

I have a bunch more of these, and my project has been focused more on how the league as a whole would be affected and how the expansions and relocations of the 80s and 90s would be effected, rather than effects on aesthetics, but your approach is very interesting.

I really hope you get some time to work on that, I'd love to see what you come up with.

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They wear this patch for the season, using their original logo from their Sporting Club days

img removed

could they really have gotten away with using this logo? seems a bit too much like the swastika.

or at least thats what people that didn't pay attention to geography, history or hockey would point out.

Huh? :blink:

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VERY clever incorperating the red ensign onto the peace tower logo.

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1 - Instead of granting expansion franchises to the Buffalo Sabres and the Vancouver Canucks (of the PCHA), the league merges with the PCHA, taking in the Vancouver Canucks, Seattle Totems & Denver Spurs (who were both granted a conditional NHL franchise for the 1976-77 season which never happened), the Phoenix Roadrunners (who in reality joined the WHA with the afforementioned Spurs), Portland Buckaroos, and San Diego Gulls. The WHA wouldn't get off the ground, and Buffalo doesn't get it's expansion team in 1970 (though they would get one through relocation in the 80s or 90s. There is no Oilers, Whalers, Jets, or Nordiques, either.

There were never formal talks of a merger with the WHL (I goofed and forgot that the league changed their name from the PCHA to the WHA somewhere in the 1950s. However, the San Fransisco Seals joined the NHL from the WHL in 1967, and the Canucks joined in 1970. The Seattle Totems and Denver Spurs were supposed to join as expansion franchises in 1976, so that would have just about amounted to a merger over time. The Phoenix club was fairly successful after jumping to the WHA (If you check the logos for the Phoenix Roadrunners in the WHA section on this site, there is one logo that is actually from their days in the WHL - the colors were blue and gold in the WHA, but orange and aqua in the WHL). The Los Angeles Blades (who had Willie O'Ree at the time) were just beat out by the owner of the LA Forum in their bid for the 1967 expansion. A merger with the WHL would have made more sense in 1970 than the merger with the WHA did later on.

4 - The Blackhawks don't block the bid to relocate the Ottawa Senators to Chicago to become the Chicago Shamrocks.

In 1931, the Senators owners were prepared to sell the team to investors from Chicago. The Blackhawks blocked the proposed relocation, and the Senators ended up going to St. Louis in 1934 (interestingly enough, the Blackhawks owners also owned the arena in St. Louis, and they were behind the creation of the St. Louis Blues in 1967, even though St. Louis didn't put up a formal expansion bid. The sixth team should have gone to either Vancouver or Baltimore).

As far as the NHL's feud with Eddie Livingstone, there is a ton of information on it. I have learned to stop hating on Wikipedia and accept it, and there is quite a bit of information there. I usually click through the links at the bottom of the page to get to actual sources, and the new Google news feature which allows you to read newspaper articles from archives is pretty handy as well. Here's the basic storyline - in 1914, Eddie Livingstone bought the Toronto Ontarios and renamed them the Toronto Shamrocks. In 1916, he buys the Toronto Blueshirts as well (the team that would later become the Maple Leafs). The league doesn't want one person owning two teams, and there is also a dispute where one of his players was at the bedside of a dying father, and the league promised to reschedule a game. Near the end of the season, when it came time to replay that game, the league didn't honor that request, and Livingstone was furious. There was also a dispute when Livingstone's Shamrocks became the 228th Battalion and half his team had to go fight WWI.

Anyhow, the league pulled the plug on Livingstone, and basically blackballed him from professional hockey. He sold off the Shamrocks and kept the Blueshirts, but the league allowed most of his players to leave (most of them ended up in Seattle, and helped the Mets win the cup). Livingstone was eventually stripped of that club as well, and the team was sold to the company that owned the Arena (Hence the Toronto Arenas). In 1918, Livingstone got Percy Quinn, who owned the Quebec Bulldogs to secede from the NHL and reform the NHA. The Canadiens, Senators, and Wanderers were still voting members of the NHA and blocked that as well. The NHL took control of the Quebec Bulldogs and relocated them to Hamilton to block Livingstone's first attempt at setting up a rival league. Another attempt to start a rival league caused the NHL to grant an expansion team to Pittsburgh in 1925. Later on, the American Hockey Association declared itself a major league, rivaling the NHL, who declared it an "outlaw league". I haven't found any actual evidence that Livingstone had anything to do with this (this would have been 1930-1932), but the Chicago Shamrocks were merged with the Detroit Falcons to become the Red Wings. (most sites call this a merger, when really, James Norris disbanded the Shamrocks and took the three best players to Detroit with him. He chose the logo for the Red Wings based on the similarity to the Montreal AAA logo of the old AHAC). I suspect Livingstone may have owned the Shamrocks before Norris, but the name may just be a coincidence, and I haven't found anything to back that up yet.

Right now, for my project, I have 25 different scenarios, from the AHAC allowing the Ottawa Nationals to join in 1897 (the Senators, Bulldogs, and Montreal Victorias would have founded the CAHL as a rival league to the AHAC) all the way up to the current contingency plan to sell the Coyotes to True North Holdings in Winnipeg (probably not going to happen, though I have my fingers crossed) if Ice Edge can't negotiate a lease on the Jobing arena. I'm working on some concept art, which I'll be posting here soon, and hope to have the blog up and running sometime this summer.

The Saskatoon scenario requires a lot of speculation. But most of the other scenarios are pulling teams with existing histories into the NHL, so not too much different from what you did with the Senators and Maroons.

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