Darryl Sittler's heroics on a very competitive hockey club in the 1970s created heartwarming memories for legions of Toronto Maple Leafs fans, memories that remain to this day.
The centreman is remembered for two of the most historic performances in the history of the National Hockey League. On February 7, 1976, the captain scored six goals and added four assists for an NHL record total of 10 points in a game versus the Boston Bruins at Maple Leaf Gardens. That spring, the team leader also joined Maurice Richard and Newsy Lalonde in hockey history by tying a league record with five goals in a playoff win against the Philadelphia Flyers. In September of that same year, Sittler also scored on a dramatic, individual effort as Team Canada defeated Czechoslovakia in overtime to capture the 1976 Canada Cup at the Forum in Montreal.
Sittler was Toronto's first choice, eighth overall, in the 1970 Amateur Draft and, later that autumn, he would embark on a career that would lead him, at the time, ahead of Dave Keon to the top of the Leafs' all-time points list, and goal scoring list. In 844 games with Toronto he recorded 389 goals and 527 assists for 916 points. In the team record book, he currently ranks; ninth in games played, second in goals, third in assists, second in points, sixth in game-winning goals, first in hat tricks (18), fourth in playoff points (65), seventh in playoff goals (25-tied) and second in playoff assists (40). In 1977-78, he amassed career-highs in points (117), goals (45), assists (72) and penalty minutes (100). Sittler became the first Maple Leaf to crack the 100-point barrier in a single season while playing the pivot on a dynamic, high-scoring line with wingers Lanny McDonald and Errol Thompson during the mid-seventies. He would lead the club in points for eight consecutive seasons from 1973 to 1980.
After Sittler's playing career, he returned to the organization on August 8, 1991 and he continues to represent the Maple Leafs in the areas of Marketing, Community Relations, and Alumni Relations.
In the storied history of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Sittler is among a select few players to be saluted with a banner to honour his sweater number and also a statue along Legends Row outside of Air Canada Centre.