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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 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
2 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
3 DET 74 40 22 12 216 201 92
4 BOS 75 37 25 13 199 195 87
5 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
6 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
7 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
8 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 73 19 40 10 59
B. Ryan 69 18 35 9 53
K. Turris 73 21 31 0 52
M. Stone 71 18 33 15 51
M. Hoffman 70 26 20 20 46
M. Zibanejad 71 19 24 3 43
M. Michalek 66 13 21 3 34
C. MacArthur 53 13 13 -10 26
A. Chiasson 67 11 15 -4 26
D. Legwand 71 9 17 3 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Hammond 14 1 1 .938 1.92
C. Anderson 14 12 7 .925 2.44