Welcome to Last Word on Hockey’s One Hit Wonder series. Each day, we will take a look at a new team’s three biggest one-hit wonders. These are players that had one great season or playoff run but never did anything like that again. Join us every day for a new team! Today we take a look at the Minnesota Wild One-Hit Wonders.
Minnesota Wild Top Three One-Hit Wonders
Josh Harding grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan. Once he became eligible to play hockey in the Canadian junior leagues, he joined the Regina Pats for three years. He then finished his junior hockey career with the Brandon Wheat Kings.
Harding spent all eight years of his career in Minnesota with the Wild organization. He was drafted in the second round, 38th overall in the 2002 NHL Draft. The Minnesota Wild goaltender served mostly as an AHL player or a backup for the Minnesota Wild.
Josh Harding had his one hit season with the Minnesota Wild during the 2013-14 season. Throughout this year, he put up incredible numbers. Harding played in 29 games, posting a record of 18-7-3. Furthermore, he led the league with a 1.66 goals-against-average and .933 save percentage.
After the Wonder
After Harding’s incredible 2013-14 season, he had to fight a new battle. This happened after he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis during the 2012-13 season. His perseverance and drive to return to the game he loved won him the Masterton Trophy that year. The next season Harding had an incredible comeback with the Minnesota Wild.
Unfortunately, after the 2013-14 season Harding only played two more games. They were played with the Wild’s AHL club, the Iowa Wild. At one moment, Harding became severely dehydrated from the multiple sclerosis, and was forced to go to the hospital. Sadly, this ended the 30-year-old’s career.
Guillaume Latendresse began his hockey journey in 2003-04 when he played for the Drummondville Voltigeurs. He was then selected in the second round, 45th overall, of the 2005 NHL Draft by the Montreal Canadiens.
Latendresse was traded to Minnesota on November 23, 2009, in exchange for Benoit Puliot. Additionally, Latendresse was not having a good season in Montreal. However, when he was traded to Minnesota that changed.
Latendresse had his one hit season with the Minnesota Wild the same year he was traded: the 2009-10 season. After his transfer to the Wild from the Canadiens, Latendresse completely turned around his season. He scored just two goals and one assist with Montreal in 23 games played prior to being traded.
Once Latendresse was traded, he began to produce at a rate no one expected. Latendresse played in 55 games for the Wild in the 2009-10 season. In these 55 games, he scored 25 goals and added 12 assists for a total of 37 points. Although these numbers are not unbelievable to imagine, it is very impressive for a player to have such a dramatic jump in production halfway through the season.
After the Wonder
After the wonder, Latendresse seemed to have reverted back to his old ways. He played two more years for the Wild in his career. Unfortuanately, Latendresse only appeared in 27 more games total. He was dressed for 11 games in 2010-11 after getting a groin injury. Also, he only played 16 games in 2011-12 due to a head injury. In total, he scored 15 points in these games.
After Latendresse was done in Minnesota he went to the Ottawa Senators by way of free agency. In his time with Ottawa, he appeared in only 27 games and scored ten points. The one-year stint with the club would be the end to his NHL career. Latendresse played one more season of hockey with Zurich SC in the Swiss A-League.
Dwayne Roloson was a goaltender for many years in the National Hockey League. Prior to his time in the NHL, Roloson played one season for the Belleville Bobcats of the Metro Junior “B” Hockey League. Upon completion of his season in Belleville, he went on to play in the NCAA. Also, he played three full seasons with his NCAA team, UMass-Lowell.
Roloson began his NHL career playing in the AHL for the Calgary Flames affiliate, the Saint John Flames. At the age of 27, Roloson debuted for the Calgary Flames. Then, after two seasons, he was signed by the Buffalo Sabres in free agency. After two seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, Roloson was picked by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2000 NHL Expansion Draft. He never played for the NHL club. Then, he signed with Minnesota through free agency on July 2nd, 2001.
Roloson played two seasons with the Minnesota Wild and had mediocre numbers. Then, in the 2003-04 season, Roloson took over as one of the highest producing goalies in the NHL. This was not in terms of his record, but in terms of his statistics. The 34-year-old played in 48 games and went 19-18-11. Although these numbers are not extraordinary, his season statistics are.
Roloson was aging and many people wondered whether he would be able to produce to the fan’s expectations. The 2003-04 season Roloson put up incredible statistics. He had a magnificent save percentage (.933SV%), which led the league. Also, Roloson allowed only 1.88 Goals Against per game (1.88GAA). It is important to note Roloson accomplished this in 48 games so it was certainly not a fluke. Unfortunately, his solid play could not propel his team to the playoffs.
After the Wonder
Roloson had a long NHL career, not to the extent of Jaromir Jagr, but still remarkably long. Roloson played with numerous teams after he moved on from Minnesota. He spent four seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, two with the New York Islanders, and ended his career with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Roloson ended his NHL career at the age of 42. Most NHL players do not make it to this point, so the fact that he played for as long as he did is an achievement in itself. Despite numerous other seasons after his time with Minnesota, he could not come up with a season as good as his one with Minnesota. His numbers were mediocre, at best. Roloson retired at the age of 42 after the 2011-12 season.