CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The Charlottetown Islanders are turning back the clock to honour Prince Edward Island’s former AHL franchise on P.E.I. Senators Night.
The Islanders will don the black and red jerseys worn by the Senators for their game against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 25. Senators memorabilia will be on display in the Eastlink Centre lobby, giving fans young and old an opportunity to learn or reminisce about the team.
“The PEI Senators are a name synonymous with hockey on Prince Edward Island,” said Islanders president of operations Craig Foster. “We’re excited to be able to pay tribute to Prince Edward Island’s first and only professional hockey team.”
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The Senators moved to Charlottetown from New Haven, Conn., prior to the 1993-1994 season and acted as the affiliate for the NHL’s Ottawa Senators. The most notable player to pass through the organization was the late Pavol Demitra, who spent three seasons on Prince Edward Island. Demitra played 16 seasons in the NHL for Ottawa, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Minnesota and Vancouver. He died in a plane crash in September 2011 while with the KHL’s Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.
Prior to the Jan. 25 game, there will be a ceremony honouring a number of former Senators players, including Norm Batherson, Darren Rumble, Darcy Simon – who is the franchise leader in penalty minutes – and Kent Paynter, one of only a couple Islanders to ever suit up for the Senators. Summerside’s Len MacAusland played one game for the Senators.
“It was one of my most memorable years of playing pro,” said Rumble on his seasons spent with the Senators. “I wasn’t sure where I was going when I got sent here, but when I got here I realized how awesome the people were.”
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Rumble would go on to carve out a successful pro career, playing parts of seven NHL seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, Ottawa Senators, St. Louis Blues and Tampa Bay Lightning. He won a Stanley Cup with the Lightning in 2004.
The Senators jerseys will be made available to the public following the game, with all of the proceeds being put towards the Charlottetown Islanders scholarship fund. A special edition Pavol Demitra Senators jersey will also be made available via auction in honour of his legacy.