(Photo credit: Graig Abel Photography)
Born in Kitchener, Ontario, on September 18, 1950, one of eight children in the Sittler family, Darryl became one of the star players of the Ontario Hockey Association’s London Knights.
Few players in Toronto Maple Leafs history captured the imagination of hockey fans, and a place in their hearts, like number 27, Darryl Sittler. Selected as the Leafs’ first pick and eighth over-all in the 1970 Entry Draft, Sittler’s 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, not only in Toronto, but across Canada and the 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 a 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.
Later that April, Sittler’s sensational scoring streak would continue in the Stanley Cup playoffs when he scored five goals in a single game against the Philadelphia Flyers, tying a playoff record.
Nearly five months later, on September 15, 1976 during the Canada Cup final at the famous Montreal Forum, 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. In a touching tribute to his illustrious Maple Leaf career, he was honoured prior to a home game against the Montreal Canadiens on February 8th, 2003 at the Air Canada Centre, when the organization proudly raised a banner to the rafters with his number 27 and his name.
Today, Darryl spends time working with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Inc in areas of Corporate Partners and in community relations. He’s 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.
To relax, Darryl enjoys fishing, bike riding, golf and spending time with family and friends.