Bargains & busts

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:09 AM ET

THE BARGAINS

- 1. Pavol Demitra: The Senators took the forward in the ninth round (you can't even do that anymore) of the 1993 draft (227th overall), sandwiched between Toby Kvaleleg and Rick Schuwerk.

Demitra became part of the worst trade in Senators history when he was shipped out by GM Pierre Gauthier to the St. Louis Blues because Demitra wouldn't accept a two-way contract.

The Senators got back the legendary Christer Olsson. He had two goals and three assists for the Senators. Demitra's collected 519 points in 553 NHL games.

- 2. Daniel Alfredsson: The Senators captain was taken in the sixth round of the 1994 draft in Hartford, some time after Ottawa selected Radek Bonk third overall. Alfredsson went 133rd overall.

- 3. Karel Rachunek: He'll go down in history as one of the guys who messed up in Game 7 of the 2003 Eastern Conference final on the game-losing goal against the New Jersey Devils. But the fact is he was a top-four defenceman on a very good team, despite being taken 229th overall in 1997.

- 4. Sami Salo: He never quite delivered the potential he seemed to possess with that booming shot and a tendency to spend a lot of time on the injured list. But he's another NHL regular who was plucked out of the ninth round (239th overall) in 1996.

- 5. Magnus Arvedson: The lanky left winger was another anonymous Swede in the mold of Alfredsson and Andreas Dackell when he was taken in the fifth round (119th overall) in 1997. He went on to become a runner-up for the Selke Trophy as the NHL's top defensive forward in 1999 after an outstanding two-way performance that saw him score 21 goals.

- Honourable mentions: Forward Martin Havlat, 26th overall in 1999; forward Mike Fisher, 44th overall in 1998; forward Chris Neil, 161st overall in 1998.

THE BUSTS

- 1. Alexandre Daigle: The first pick overall in 1993, Daigle never became the star the Senators envisioned in the early days of their existence. The news around him was usually bad, from appearing in a nurse's uniform for a trading card promotion to being ushered off a plane for making a joke about a bomb. He bounced around the league before quitting for two years. To his credit, he battled his way back through the minors and scored 20 goals and had 31 assists for the Minnesota Wild two years ago.

- 2. Radek Bonk: The big centre got off to a slow start in his NHL career (44 goals in his first four years) after being the third-pick overall in 1994. Viewed as an underachiever, he was a whipping boy here, and a lightning rod for fans and media discontent when things didn't go the Senators' way. He was the poster boy for Ottawa's post-season failures with just three goals in his first 36 playoff games. After peaking with 70 points in 2001-02 (as his contract expired), his totals declined to 54 and then 44 points before he was traded to the Montreal Canadiens.

- 3. Mathieu Chouinard: The Senators were looking for a goaltender in the 1998 draft in Buffalo. Chouinard was taken with their first-round pick (15th overall). He's played one game in the NHL, in 2003-04 with the Los Angeles Kings.

- 4. Mathieu Chouinard: Yes, that Mathieu Chouinard. Not having learned their lesson -- or maybe wanting to teach Chouinard one after he failed to sign with them -- the Senators drafted him again in 2000. They wasted a second-round pick (45th overall) on him.

- 5. Chad Penney: The winger was taken with the club's second pick (25th overall) in their first draft in 1992. He was viewed as a potential power forward, but wound up playing only three games in the NHL. He managed two penalty minutes.

chris.stevenson@ott.sunpub.com


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