In the history of the Flames franchise, 606 players have tugged a red sweater over their heads and suited up for a regular season game. Of those, 22 played just a single game for either the Calgary or Atlanta Flames. We call them One Game Wonders.
Let’s talk about another One Game Wonder, Kay Whitmore.
An Ontario boy, Whitmore played four seasons for the OHL’s Peterborough Petes. He was a second round pick from the Hartford Whalers in the 1985 NHL Draft.
Going pro in 1987, Whitmore bounced between the Whalers and their minor league affiliates for much of the next five seasons – eventually landing a full-time NHL gig in 1991-92. He was traded to Vancouver early the next season, and he spent the next three seasons with the Canucks (though his role diminished by his third season).
Whitmore spent 1995-96 with four different minor league teams (across two leagues) and was traded from Vancouver to the New York Rangers mid-season. He spent the 1996-97 season with Sodertalje SK in Sweden before returning to North America the following season, signing a deal with the San Jose Sharks – though he spent the entire season in the minors.
He bounced around after that. He was traded to Buffalo by the Sharks as a pending UFA, then left as a free agent anyway and signed with the Rangers. He was signed by Boston, traded to Edmonton, then traded back to Boston, then signed as a free agent by the Flames. During this period, he played almost exclusively in the minors. He played five games for Boston in 2000-01, going 1-2-0.
He spent most of his Flames tenure in tandem with Levente Szuper in Saint John. He was called up mid-season to replace an injured Mike Vernon. He played one game for Calgary, on Dec. 12, 2001. He made 18 saves in a 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay. Following that, he dressed as Roman Turek’s backup for three games before returning back to the AHL. He retired following the season.
Whitmore was a good minor league goalie and he had two superb NHL seasons, finishing seventh in Vezina Trophy voting in 1992-93. But he was essentially out of a regular NHL gig two seasons later, showing just how quickly a star can fall (and just how fickle the hockey world can be).