NHL: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow, Top 10 Flashes in the Pan
Over the years, we have witnessed players come into the NHL and perform remarkably, only to disappear a short time later. I have often wondered how somebody could score 30 goals in the NHL, yet not stick around long enough to get their name stitched on the back of their jersey.
It makes you think, who could be the next player that will succumb to such a fate.
From the Toronto Maple Leafs Nikolai Borschevsky to the Washington Capitals Jim Carey, yes there have been a few that have impressed the fans for a short period of time and then become flashes in the pan.
That being said, here are my picks for the best, or worst, of them—players that lasted about as long as Britney Spears and K-Fed's marriage.
10. Vladimir Krutov
Vladimir Krutov had a brilliant career in Russia, but that was before he discovered life in North America and McDonald's cheeseburgers.
One of the greatest Russian players of all-time lasted just 61 games in the NHL, scoring 11 goals and 23 assists. His homesickness and weight problems got the best of him, and he was sent back to his homeland tagged Vladimir "Crouton" by Canucks fans.
9. Warren Young
Before Rob Brown, Warren Young popped in 40 goals playing alongside Mario Lemieux with the Penguins, but could only manage 30 more after that with Pittsburgh and Detroit.
He finished his NHL career with 72 goals and 77 assists through 236 games with Minnesota, Pittsburgh and Detroit, but really had two decent seasons over that time.
You are only as good as the players you play with, just ask Warren.
8. Steve Penney
After a Cinderella like start to Steve Penney's career for the Habs in the 1984 Stanley Cup Playoffs (which saw him backstop the team to a 3-0 series sweep over the Bruins and a 4-2 series win over the Quebec Nordiques), Canadiens management thought they had the next Ken Dryden on their hands.
Penney's run was finally ended by the New York Islanders, but he posted a 2.20 goals against and three shutouts in his 15 playoff games and was signed to a three year deal by the club.
He went 32-16-10 over the next two seasons, with a 3.94 goals against and a save percentage of .861, and lost the starting gig to Patrick Roy...'nuff said.
7. Ken Hodge, Jr.
You have to feel for Ken Hodge, Jr., who had to live up to the expectations his father, Ken Hodge, Sr., laid out for him in Boston. The shoes turned out to be too big.
The senior was a 50-goal man with the Bruins, and scored 328 goals and 472 assists in 880 career NHL games.
Ken Hodge, Jr. looked as though he was going to carry that same torch in Beantown, as he scored 30 goals and 29 assists in 70 games with Boston in his rookie season. However, he only managed eight more goals and 18 assists after that.
Ken Hodge, Jr. finished his NHL career with 39 goals and 48 assists in 142 games with Minnesota, Boston, and Tampa Bay.
6. Nikolai Borschevsky
Nikolai Borschevsky was the hottest thing since sliced bread when he came to Toronto for the 1992-93 season. After all, he put up 34 goals and 40 assists in 78 games with the Leafs in his rookie debut and scored the Game Seven winner against the Detroit Red Wings in the division semi-final series.
But after an injury-filled following season where he managed to put up 37 points in 45 games for the Leafs, Borschevsky was never really the same and managed just one goal in his short-lived NHL stint after that with Calgary and Dallas.
5. Chris Kontos
He may be best known for his performance in the 1989 Stanley Cup Playoffs when he scored nine goals in 11 games while playing alongside Wayne Gretzky, but Chris Kontos didn't really get a full time shot at the NHL until the 1992-93 season with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Kontos scored 27 goals and 24 assists in 66 games for the Lightning and was never heard from again. Hard to believe he couldn't make the roster the following year when the club's leading goal scorer (Petr Klima) had 28 goals.
4. Scott Bjugstad
Scott Bjugstad is just another one hit wonder in the "where are they now" files of the NHL.
In the 1985-86 season, he managed to put up 43 goals and 33 assists with the Minnesota North Stars, but scored just four the following season and was relegated to the minors.
He relied on his linemates Neal Broten and Dino Ciccarelli, like Ashlee Simpson does on being Jessica's sister.
The most he put up after that was 10 in 1987-88.
3. Dimitri Kvartalnov
Even Boston Bruins fans have a hard time remembering Dimitri Kvartalnov, and those who do have probably tried blocking the Russian winger completely out of their memory.
He scored 30 goals and 42 assists in 73 games as a rookie in 1992-93, but only managed to play 39 games after that. He disappeared faster then a Twinkie on the set of the Biggest Loser.
2. Blair MacDonald
Wayne Gretzky's original right winger scored 46 goals and 48 assists in the Edmonton Oilers' first year in the NHL in 1979-80, but his highest output after that was just 19.
It may have been a different story if Jari Kurri hadn't arrived the very next season.
Blair MacDonald is just another player on a long list of guys who Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux made famous. That could be an entire other article!
1. Jim Carey
Jim Carey's stint in the NHL was short-lived, but he did accomplish winning a Vezina trophy for the top goaltender in the league in 1996 after going 35-24-9 with a 2.26 goals against average and posting nine shutouts.
He never really regained that form, and was traded to the Boston Bruins near the end of the 1996-97 season, where he went 5-13-0 with a 3.82 goals against in Beantown.
Carey played just 14 games in the NHL after that with Boston and St. Louis.