In the future, when the history of the current Ottawa Senators is written, the night of June 20, 2008 will loom large.

That evening, on the floor of Scotiabank Place — the site of that year's NHL entry draft — Senators general manager Bryan Murray was growing increasingly anxious. His team held the 18th selection, having finished a turbulent regular season by scraping into the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Senators bowed out of the postseason in four games.

Earlier in the day, in an effort to steady the ship, Murray had placed the team's mutinous goaltender, Ray Emery, on waivers. But there was more work to be done.

Murray watched as a raft of quality defencemen came off the board early: Drew Doughty went second to the L.A. Kings; Zach Bogosian third to the Atlanta Thrashers; Alex Pietrangelo fourth to the St. Louis Blues; Luke Schenn fifth to the Toronto Maple Leafs.