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FRANCHISE FIRSTS: Bob Kudelski scores the Senators’ first hat-trick

Friday, 10.19.2012 / 9:06 AM ET / News
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FRANCHISE FIRSTS: Bob Kudelski scores the Senators\u2019 first hat-trick\r\n

Imagine this: One day you’re a role player on a team with Wayne Gretzky. Next thing you know, you’re a top line centre for a struggling expansion team, the Ottawa Senators.

That’s what happened to Bob Kudelski, just days before Christmas in 1992.

Kudelski spent the first four and a half seasons of his career playing for the Los Angeles Kings. He was traded to the Senators on Dec. 21, 1992, midway through the Sens’ inaugural season.

“It was exciting for me, coming from a team where I was a third- or fourth-line player and playing mostly a defensive-minded game. And here (Ottawa) I was expected to do a few more offensive things,” said Kudelski last year in an interview with Sens TV.

Kudelski made the most of his time here and earned a spot in the record books by scoring the first hat trick in modern franchise history.

It was Jan. 10, 1993, and the Sens defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-2 at the Ottawa Civic Centre. All three of Kudelski’s goals came in the first period.

“That was a special game. I remember somebody said something in the third period of the game – ‘Have you given up?’ – you scored three in the first period!” he recalled.

Kudelski set a few other club records that night, including most goals in one period, the fastest two goals in one game (2:10) and the fastest three goals in one game (13:48). It was his third career hat trick. (He scored his fourth career hat trick the following season with the Sens.)

While with the Kings, Kudelski’s teammates included all-stars Wayne Gretzky, Luc Robitaille and Paul Coffey. The Kings eventually went on to the Stanley Cup Final that same season before losing to the Montreal Canadiens in five games.

“(Playing with the Senators) was a lot different than in L.A. where we had a lot of high-profile players. You’d walk off the ice (in Los Angeles) and nobody knew who you were, but here it’s a lot different. Hockey is the number one sport in Canada and everybody knows who you are,” he said.

The Senators had a difficult season in 1992-1993, winning only 10 games. Kudelski had 21 goals and 14 assists in 48 games, finishing second in goals behind Sylvain Turgeon.

He started the next season with the Senators, but was traded in January to the Florida Panthers.

“I had a pretty good run while I was here, scored a few goals, put up a few points on the board for myself. I got selected to the All-Star Game in 1994, and that was 100 per cent due to my play here in Ottawa. So I look back on those days and have very fond memories of my time here.”

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ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
2 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
3 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
4 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
5 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
6 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
7 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
8 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 53 11 48 7 59
B. Ryan 52 19 26 -1 45
M. Hoffman 49 23 18 6 41
M. Stone 51 14 24 -13 38
M. Zibanejad 52 11 21 -2 32
K. Turris 47 13 17 -10 30
J. Pageau 53 12 8 3 20
Z. Smith 52 10 5 5 15
C. Ceci 46 5 10 -3 15
C. Lazar 48 5 9 0 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 21 17 4 .913 2.91
A. Hammond 3 5 2 .900 3.10