One of our sister sites, Habs Eyes on the Prize, recently did a series of the top five one-and-done Canadiens players since 2000. Since it seemed like a fun idea, we decided to do the same over here at RawCharge, except we’re going all the way back to the start of the franchise. It’s a little easier for us to do that than the Habs with their long and storied history. Special thanks to Andrew Zadarnowski of HEOTP for having the idea and allowing us to run with it.
#2 CHRIS KONTOS
There’s no way that we could leave Chris Kontos off this list. Kontos: The man, the myth, the legend. Selected 15th overall in the 1st round of the 1982 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Rangers, Kontos was quite the journeyman. Over a 16 year professional career, he wore the jersey of 18 different professional teams plus Team Canada in international play.
Kontos was picked up off of the scrap heap in 1992. Prior to joining the Lightning, Kontos had played in 164 career NHL games with 28 goals and 72 points. He also held, and still holds, the records for most power-play goals in a playoff series with six goals. However, at the time he had not played in the NHL since a six game stint during the 1989-90 season. He did join the Canada National Team after the 1990-91 season, where future Lightning head coach Terry Crisp was an assistant.
The expansion draft rules had not left the Lightning with much talent to work with and they had to go digging wherever they could. When Crisp was hired by the Lightning, he put a bug in the ear of General Manager Phil Esposito about Kontos. The Lightning signed Kontos and he joined the team for training camp.
After a solid training camp, Kontos would start the season with a bang. He came out swinging with a four-goal performance in the opening game of the franchise, a franchise record that would stand alone until Martin St. Louis tied his record on January 18th, 2014.
Kontos continued to provide solid offense to the expansion Lightning, scoring 27 goals and 54 points over 66 games in the team’s inaugural season. His one season with the Lightning, however, would be his last in the NHL.
That didn’t mean his success as a hockey player was over, though. He returned to the Canadian National Team in 1993-94 and won a Silver Medal in the Olympics with Canada. His professional hockey career wrapped up with two seasons in the IHL and one last season in Europe playing in the German DEL.