To mark our 175th anniversary year, we feature a different front page each week from past editions of the Ottawa Citizen. Today: Oct. 9, 1992.
The optimism felt by Ottawa hockey fans was reflected in the headline of the special four-page section that wrapped their paper on Oct. 9, 1992: “Maybe Rome was built in a day.”
The occasion was the return to the NHL, after an absence of 58 years, of the Ottawa Senators, who not only came back, but came back in high style, as the club improbably defeated the Montreal Canadiens, who went on to win the Stanley Cup that season, 5-3 at the sold-out Civic Centre.
The victory served as sweet icing on a cake already laden with pomp and ceremony that evening, as befitting the city’s re-entry into Stanley Cup competition. Another hometown hero, Alanis Morissette, sang the national anthem, while 1988 Olympic figure-skating silver medalist Brian Orser wowed the crowd with a pre-game back flip. The #8 worn by Frank “The Shawville Express” Finnigan, meanwhile, the last surviving member of the 1927 Stanley Cup-winning Senators, was hoisted to the rafters. Finnigan, a vocal supporter of the Senators’ bid to return to the NHL, had died the previous December, and so the honour of the ceremonial opening puck drop went to his son Frank Jr.