Washington Capitals One-Hit Wonders

Washington Capitals One-Hit Wonders

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 Washington Capitals One-Hit Wonders. 

Washington Capitals Top Three One-Hit Wonders

Jim Carey

Affectionately known by many nicknames including “Ace” and the “Net Detective”, Carey drafted into the Washington organization in the second round, 32nd overall of the 1992 NHL Entry Draft. Due to the success at the University of Wisconsin and under twenty World Junior Hockey Championships Carey was pipped to be the new rising star. The young American goaltender was set for great things and desperately needed to assist with the Capital’s struggles at the time.

One-Hit Season

Although the 20-year-old posted a .913 save percentage in his rookie year during the 1994-95 season and in turn, obtained him a Vezina nomination,  Carey failed to impress during the playoffs. The Caps goaltender’s however, rebounded to capture the Vezina in 1996, leading the NHL with nine shutouts, winning a then-team-record 35 games, and posting an impressive 2.26 Goals against average. He is the only goalie in NHL history to be nominated for the Vezina Trophy in each of his first two seasons.

It seemed the Capital’s dreams and expectations had come true and Carey was headed for the Hall of Fame. But Carey yet again failed to impress in the playoffs allowing an embarrassing ten goals against the rival Pittsburgh Penguins leading to a .744SV% and a 6.18 GAA. And with it, sparked a downward career spiral.

After the Wonder

The fall of Jim Carey continues to puzzle the hockey world. Colleagues and fans alike sensed the decreased passion and drive in the young goaltender. A difficult era for the Capitals where Carey’s demise could be based on being traded to the Boston Bruins during the 1996-97 season in return for more veteran players. Carey played a total of 29 games in two seasons for Boston, then spent the last year of his NHL career with the St. Louis Blues playing only four games. He retired from hockey at the age of 26-years-old.

Rolf Edberg

Another Washington Capital anomaly is Swedish born Rolf Edberg. The two-way forward played professional hockey for various Swedish teams prior to signing with the Capitals as a free agent in the 1978-79 season at the age of 28-years-old.

One-Hit Season

Edberg’s NHL career was short-lived, during his “rookie” season, he scored 14 goals and recorded 27 assists for 44 points. However, his most notable season was during the 1979-80 season, where he achieved 23 goals and had 23 assists for 46 points. Despite just a two-point increase, the real surprising thing was the jump from 14 goals to 23 despite playing 13 fewer games. The Stockholm native never achieved productivity like that again.

After the Wonder

The following season, Edberg scored just eight goals with eight assists in 45 games. It would be his last season in the NHL, the 30-year-old return to the Swedish Hockey Leauge.

Bobby Carpenter

Although Bobby Carpenter was a permanent fixture within the Washington Capitals and had a productive hockey career. He is worth mentioning as a curveball to consider.

The Hockey Hall of Famer was originally drafted by the Caps in the first round, third overall of the 1981 NHL Entry Draft, and most recognized as the first player to be drafted straight from high school at 18-year-old into the NHL.

One-Hit Season

However, Carpenter’s fourth season in 1984-85 was the best season of his career, scoring 53 goals and 42 assists, equaling to 95 points. Carpenter’s 53 goals led the team and he was the first American-born NHL player to score those 50 goals.

After the Wonder.

Although Carpenter had a solid 18-year NHL career with a multitude of teams including the New York Rangers, L.A. Kings, Bruins, and New Jersey Devils. He never achieved the same productivity as the 1984-85 season. Carpender achieved 80 games played five times in his NHL career, the American native slowly declined until retirement at the age of 35.

Carpenter won a Stanley Cup with the Devils and two as an assistant coach. More recently, he served as the Head Coach of the Kunlun Red Stars in the KHL.

Main Photo

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