The Ottawa Senators were undoubtedly the NHL’s strongest team in its first years and Cy Denneny was a big reason for their dominance. Known for his accurate shot, Denneny was one of the league’s most consistent offensive forces in the NHL’s first ten years. After toiling in semi-pro leagues for a few years, Denneny joined the Toronto Shamrocks of the NHA in 1914 as a 23-year old. Denneny stayed in Toronto to play for the Blueshirts the following season and fully established himself as a star player with 24 goals in 24 games.
Denneny played for the Ottawa Senators in 1916-17, but only played in 10 games. It was in 1917-18 that Denneny really exploded, scoring 36 goals in just 20 games in the first NHL season. His 10 assists were also tied for the league lead and his 46 points were just two behind Joe Malone for tops in the league. He followed that season up with another goal-per-game season, scoring 18 goals in just as many games. Denneny helped lead the Senators to their first Cup in 1920 and again in 1921, a season in which he scored a stunning 34 goals in 24 games.
Worth noting as well is how Denneny cleaned up his game from his earlier years, his PIM totals went from 80 to 58 to 31 to 10 in just four seasons. Denneny would continue in his ways being a consistent offensive force, with seasons of 39 and 34 points, finishing 2nd in consecutive seasons and leading the Senators to another cup in ’23.
As offense plummeted in 1923-24, Denneny seemed to be one of the only players not affected, as he lead the league in goals with 22 in as many games and 24 points. In the 1924-25 season, Denneny not only had 27 goals, but added 15 assists, a mark that was, at the time, the 2nd highest total of all-time. In 1925-26, Denneny played all 36 games despite growing older, now at 34 years old. The following season, Denneny’s age began to show, but he still scored 17 goals and helped his Senators win their fourth Stanley Cup in what was an extremely dominant season.
After an unproductive season in 1927-28, Denneny joined the Boston Bruins as a coach, player, and assistant manager. The 37-year old provided leadership and guidance for than on-ice prowess, but he still helped lead the Bruins to the 1929 Stanley Cup. When Denneny retired in 1929, he was 3rd in assists (85), but 1st in both goals (248) and points (333). He had the lead in goals by a whopping 47 and in points by 82. His point total would take two years to beat and his goal total wouldn’t be beaten for four years when Morenz finally passed him. Denneny coached the Senators for one season in 1932-33.
Denneny was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1959.