Call it a bad omen or just an unfortunate random act of vandalism.
A Centretown monument commemorating the 1903 Stanley Cup victory by the original Ottawa Senators over the Montreal Victorias was destroyed late Sunday night.
Police are investigating the incident, and are questioning potential witnesses in the neighbourhood.
The monument, which has a four-foot-tall granite base and a large bronze plaque resting on top, stood at the corner of Bay St. and Gladstone Ave., near the site of Dey's Rink, where the Senators played from 1897-1907.
Local hockey historian Paul Kitchen invested more than $4,000 of his own money to erect the monument in 1997 in a ceremony presided over by former mayor Jacquelin Holzman.
"To see nothing but a pile of rubble there is a little disheartening," said Kitchen.
Kitchen said he was "sad and disappointed" to see the monument destroyed and the bronze plaque stolen. He is pleading for the plaque's safe return, saying vandals might not realize the significance of the artifact.
"I feel for the members of that community," said Kitchen. "I think they want to take pride in their community, and they take pride in the fact that a very historic event in this city took place there."
"What more can go wrong?" he asked with the Senators struggling on the ice and hobbled by injuries. "But you never know, this might be the turning point."