Born in Kitchener, Ontario on September 18, 1950, one of eight children in the Sittler family, Darryl became a star player of the Ontario Hockey Association’s London Knights.
There are very few players in Toronto Maple Leaf history, that captured both the imagination of hockey fans and a place in their hearts, like number 27, Darryl Sittler. He was selected as the Leafs’ first pick and eighth overall in the 1970 Entry Draft. Sittler’s continuous offensive exploits began to shine during his third-season in the league when he scored 77 points. At the age of 24, he became the second youngest captain in team history.
In 1976, Sittler would achieve legendary status, both in Toronto, and across the Canadian hockey world. It began at Maple Leaf Gardens on February 7, 1976, in a game against the Boston Bruins. While centering a line with Lanny McDonald and Errol Thompson, Sittler scored six goals and added four assists to set an NHL record – one that still stands today – for most points in a game with 10. That record-breaking moment helped Sittler become the first ever Maple Leaf to reach 100 points in a single season.
Two months later in April, Sittler’s sensational scoring streak would continue in the Stanley Cup playoffs, when he scored five goals in one game against the Philadelphia Flyers, tying a playoff record.
Nearly five months later at the Montreal Forum, on September 15, 1976 during the Canada Cup, Sittler cemented his standing in Canadian hockey lore. Taking a pass from teammate Marcel Dionne in overtime, he beat Czech goalie Vladimir Dzurilla on a partial breakaway, scoring the tournament winning goal for Canada and securing his place as a national hockey hero.
In 1989, Sittler was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He was honoured prior to a home game against the Montreal Canadiens on February 8th, 2003, at the Air Canada Centre. It was an unforgettable, touching tribute to an illustrious Maple Leaf career. The entire organization proudly raised a banner to the rafters with his number 27 and his name!
On September 6, 2014 the Toronto Maple Leafs honoured Darryl again, with the unveiling of his bronze statue outside the Air Canada Centre. He is one of the first three Leaf players to become a member of “Legends Row”
Today, Darryl spends time working with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Inc in areas of Corporate Partners and in community relations. He is an active Member of the Board of Directors of several publicly listed mining companies and is also very supportive of a number of charities. These charities include the Special Olympics Canada, Screen Colons Canada and Colon Cancer Canada in honor of his late wife Wendy who died from colon cancer in 2001.