It is the dream of every kid who has ever held a hockey stick to play in a National Hockey League game. 388 individuals have achieved that dream - playing in only one NHL game. Sportsnet’s Ken Reid interviews forty of these players in his 2016 book, One Night Only - Conversations with the NHL’s One Game Wonders. Reid has also authored Hockey Card Stories, Hockey Card Stories 2 and the recently released One to Remember: Stories from 39 Members of the NHL’s One Goal Club.
One Night Only is an entertaining read with each chapter dedicated to one player describing their road to the NHL and life after hockey. Reid does a commendable job of finding players from different eras and presenting unique stories behind their brief time in the big league. Each chapter is less than ten pages so it’s easy to stay interested until the end. Their journey to the NHL is truly inspiring, but also heartbreaking as they were not able to make their dream last longer than one game.
One of the chapters is about former Victoria Salsa goaltender Jordan Sigalet and his 43 second appearance for the Boston Bruins. Sigalet was a standout in goal for the Salsa, winning the 1999/00 BCHL rookie of the year. In his second year, he was selected the BCHL (Coastal) Most Valuable Player as the Salsa won the 2000/01 BCHL championship. At the 2001 NHL entry draft, he was selected in the 7th round by the Bruins. Instead of turning pro, Sigalet attended Bowling Green University where he was a NCAA (CCHA) first team all star and in his senior year a Hobey Baker Finalist (top NCAA collegiate player). In 2004 Sigalet was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but continued his dream of the making the NHL. He is truly an inspiring story as he continues to help raise awareness and money for MS.
On January 7, 2006 Sigalet made his NHL debut for the Boston Bruins. In the last minute of the game, he replaced Andrew Raycroft in goal as the Bruins won 6-3. A couple days later, Sigalet was sent down to the Bruins farm team in Providence. After a couple of years in Providence he went to Europe and retired at the end of the 2008/09 season. “I played for five years after being diagnosed and my diagnosis had nothing to do with me retiring,” Sigalet said. When his playing days ended, Sigalet transitioned into coaching and has been the goaltending coach for the Calgary Flames since 2014. This week he was named the Flames, Director of Goaltending. Coincidentally, Jordan’s brother, Johnathan Sigalet, also played in just one NHL game and has a chapter in the book.
Trent Kaese, owner and general manager of the Cottonwood Golf Course in Nanaimo, is also profiled. The Buffalo Sabres drafted Kaese in 1985 after three years in the WHL with Lethbridge, Calgary and Swift Current. On March 25, 1989 Kaese made his one and only NHL appearance for the Sabres in a 4-1 loss against the Quebec Nordiques. In 1990, he went overseas and joined the British Hockey League (BHL). In 1993-94 he scored 225 points in 53 games which was only good enough to finish 9th in the BHL scoring race.
Although they were not profiled in this book, there are two Victoria Cougars who appeared in only one game in the NHL - Jeff McDill and Gary Donaldson.
Reid’s latest book, One to Remember: Stories from 39 Members of the NHL’s One Goal Club, was released in September 2020. It’s a follow up to One Night Only with Reid interviewing thirty-nine players who have scored just one National Hockey League goal. Chris Mason and Dan Lucas, who both played junior with the Victoria Cougars, are among the individuals featured in the book.