Everyone knows what a one-hit wonder is, and there is not a person walking on this earth that doesn't have an image immediately pop into their mind when they hear the expression. For me it has to be Rob van Winkle, or "Vanilla Ice" as he was known on the streets. Allegedly.
All the warning signs were there, the hijacked hook from Queen's "Under Pressure," the goofball outfits, the haircut and the stripes in the eye brows. It's easy to laugh at it now, but for a good six months, that guy was getting boy-band tail. It's still a catchy tune, and, admittedly, I probably still know all the words, but the great equalizer of time and good judgement limit Mr. van Winkle's musical submissions to clearly one hit.
Timing was everything for Mr. Ice, as hip-hop music had not yet reached the mainstream. A catchy beat and a non-threatening (almost laughable) white guy gangster became Billboard's first No. 1 hip-hop single. Once the music stopped, and there was no real follow up, the cash cow died, Madonna stopped calling and the iconic "One-Hit Wonder" cement was allowed to set and dry.
The sports world has its share of one-hit wonders, too. Whether it is someone who plays out of their mind for a game, a week or a season, the term "one-hit wonder" can certainly apply to an athlete who finds their groove for a finite period.
The stain of performance-enhancing drugs has shed some light on a few of these statistical spikes in the world of Major League Baseball. The NFL and NBA have had a handful of players who emerge from nowhere to steal the temporary spotlight.
The same can be said for the NHL and its headline makers. The hockey world has had its share of what I like to call "performance-enhancing teammates," guys who have enough skill to turn a traffic cone into a 40-goal scorer.
For every star who brings their "A-game" on a night-to-night basis there is a third- or fourth-liner who scores the goal of his life or drops a hat trick on a Vezina candidate. Goalies are the streakiest of all NHL creatures and even the most inconsistent backstop can look like Roy for a game or two.
Here's a collection of 25 of the NHL's greatest one-hit wonders. They may never make it to the Hall of Fame as an inductee, but they certainly capitalized on their 15 minutes (or so) of excellence.