If you were to ask any Senators fan to recall some semblance of a connection between the city of Hartford and the Senators, most would probably answer — it's the place Wade Redden's career went to die.
While that isn't wrong, Hartford is also where seventeen years ago today, Daniel Alfredsson scored the first of ten career NHL hat-tricks (this number includes two postseason hat-tricks).
With Alexei Yashin staging his own contract holdout, a recurring theme in these "On this Day in Senators History" pieces that I've been writing, Alfredsson tallied three goals on four shots against Sean Burke and the Hartford Whalers; leading the Senators to a 5-0 win over their Northeast Division rivals.
The hat-trick broke an eight-game goalless drought for Alfie; although with one goal and eight points in his first ten games that season, it was not like he was being held off of the scoresheet. If anything, in retrospect, this game probably helped boost his confidence as he tallied five goals in the six games that followed. He would finish the season with 61 points in 82 games.
By adding an assist that night, Alfie's four-point night marked a season high for the Swede; ultimately helping him capture the organization's first major NHL Award — the Calder Trophy.
As a minor footnote in this story, Don Beaupre beat the odds, recording the second shutout in franchise history with 41-saves, one of the six wins he had in 33 appearances that season. Along with Martin Straka and Bryan Berard, he would eventually be dealt in a three-way Islanders, Leafs deal that netted the Senators Damian Rhodes and Wade Redden.