Darryl Sittler

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Darryl Sittler
Hockey Hall of Fame, 1989
Darryl Sittler.jpg
Born (1950-09-18) September 18, 1950 (age 64)
Kitchener, ON, CAN
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Left
Played for Toronto Maple Leafs
Philadelphia Flyers
Detroit Red Wings
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 8th overall, 1970
Toronto Maple Leafs
Playing career 1970–1985
Website http://Www.darrylsittler.ca

Darryl Glen Sittler (born September 18, 1950) is a retired professional ice hockey player who played in the National Hockey League from 1970 until 1985 for the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Detroit Red Wings. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1989.

On February 7, 1976, Sittler set an NHL record that still stands for most points scored in one game. He recorded ten points (six goals, four assists) against the Boston Bruins.

Playing career[edit]

Toronto Maple Leafs[edit]

Sittler grew up in St. Jacobs, Ontario and played minor hockey in nearby Elmira. He was drafted out of the Junior C Elmira Sugar Kings by the London Nationals, soon renamed the London Knights, and played under coaches Turk Broda and Bep Guidolin. Sittler was selected eighth overall by the Maple Leafs in the 1970 NHL Amateur Draft. He was named team captain on September 10, 1975 after Dave Keon left the team to play in the WHA following a contract dispute with Leafs owner Harold Ballard.

In his first season as captain, Sittler finished the season with 41 goals and 59 assists, being the first Leaf ever to reach the one hundred point mark. A few months later, he tied the playoff record for most goals in one game, with five against the Philadelphia Flyers. That summer, in the inaugural Canada Cup, he scored in overtime to win the final series for Team Canada over Czechoslovakia.

On February 7, 1976 in a game between Toronto and Boston at Maple Leaf Gardens, Sittler set an NHL record that still stands by tallying 6 goals and adding 4 assists (of Lanny McDonald) for 10 points. All his points were scored against rookie goalie Dave Reece in an 11-4 Maple Leaf victory.

In 1977–78, Sittler's 117 points ranked him third in regular season scoring behind Guy Lafleur and Bryan Trottier, and also earned him a Second Team All-Star selection. Sittler's scoring totals remained a Leafs record until being surpassed by Doug Gilmour in 1992–93.

The 1978–79 season saw Sittler suffer some knee problems and miss 10 games. It was also the year that Leafs owner Ballard fired and then rehired coach Roger Neilson, a process which saw Sittler lobby on the players' behalf for Neilson's reinstatement.

Sittler's relationship with Ballard slowly deteriorated, particularly after Ballard hired Punch Imlach as general manager in July 1979. Imlach and Ballard both had strained relations with NHLPA executive director Alan Eagleson who, as a player agent, represented more than a dozen Leafs, including Sittler and his best friend and linemate, Lanny McDonald. Imlach believed Sittler had too much influence on the team and tried to undermine his authority with the players. When Sittler and goaltender Mike Palmateer agreed to appear on the TV show Showdown, as negotiated by the NHLPA, Imlach went to court to try to get injunction to stop them. When Imlach said that he was open to offers for Sittler from other teams, Eagleson said it would cost $500,000 to get Sittler to waive the no-trade clause in his contract. So, instead of trading Sittler, Imlach sent McDonald to the woeful Colorado Rockies on December 29, 1979. In response, Sittler ripped the captan's C off his sweater, later commenting that a captain had to be the go-between with players and management, and he no longer had any communication with management.[1] Ballard would liken Sittler's actions to burning the Canadian flag.[2]

Through the summer, Ballard insisted that Sittler would not be back with the Leafs. But before the start of the 1980–81 season, Sittler and Ballard appeared together at a news conference described as "all smiles and buddy-buddy"[3] to announce that Sittler would be at training camp. He showed up with the C back on his sweater, reassuming the role of team captain. Sittler had arranged the talks with Ballard on his own.[3] The discussions took place with Imlach hospitalized following his second heart attack. At the news conference, Ballard said the real battle had been between Imlach and Eagleson, and Sittler just got caught in the crossfire.

During the 1981–82 season, Ballard considered Imlach's health to be too poor for him to continue as general manager. But even with Imlach gone, Sittler's relationship with the Leafs worsened to the point where he told Ballard and acting general manager Gerry McNamara at the end of November that he would waive his no-trade clause if he was sent to the Flyers or the Minnesota North Stars. In the first week of December, Eagleson agreed to terms with Flyers' owner Ed Snider and North Stars' general manager Lou Nanne.[4] But it took another seven weeks for the Leafs to make a deal. During that time, Sittler added the Islanders and Buffalo Sabres to the list of teams he could be traded to. On January 5, 1982, on advice from his physician, Sittler walked out on the Leafs, saying he was "mentally depressed" because a trade was taking so long to complete.

Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings[edit]

Finally, on January 20, 1982, the 31 year-old Sittler was traded to the Flyers for Rich Costello plus the Hartford Whalers' second-round pick in the 1982 draft (used by the Leafs to select Peter Ihnačák), and future considerations, which ended up being Ken Strong. Only Ihnacak would play regularly for the Leafs. In 1980, Imlach had rejected an offer from Philadelphia, who were said to be willing to trade Rick MacLeish and André Dupont for Sittler.[5]

With the Flyers in 1982–83, Sittler earned his fourth All-Star game appearance and he returned to the Flyers the following season. Before the 1984–85 season, Sittler was told that he would be named the Flyers' team captain. On the day the announcement was to be made—Sittler even had a brief speech prepared[6]—he was instead told by Flyers' newly appointed general manager Bobby Clarke that he had been traded to the Detroit Red Wings for Murray Craven and Joe Paterson. It was this incident that Sittler described as the biggest disappointment of his life. "Clarke can't come close to realizing how much he hurt me, and my family, that day," he wrote in his 1991 autobiography.[7] Sittler contemplated retirement and did not report to the Wings for a few days, but then joined the team. He had an unproductive season, struggling to get ice time under coach Nick Polano, and finishing the year with the worst goals-per-game average of his NHL career. The Red Wings bought out Sittler's contract after the end of the season. He received a one-year contract offer from the Vancouver Canucks, but decided to retire.

After retirement from playing[edit]

Sittler was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1989. In 1991, a year after Ballard died, he rejoined the Leafs' organization as a consultant under new general manager Cliff Fletcher and also performs public relations duties for the team on an ongoing basis. In 1998, he was ranked number 93 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players. On February 8, 2003, the Leafs honoured Sittler by adding a banner with his number 27 to those already hanging in the Air Canada Centre for other Leafs greats.[8] In a very moving ceremony, Sittler, with his 3 grown children at his side, paid tribute to his wife Wendy, who had died of cancer one year previous.[9]

Vancouver songwriters Dan Swinimer and Jeff Johnson wrote a country song commemorating Sittler's 60th birthday called "The Darryl Sittler Song". Sittler also serves as a director to a number of mineral exploration companies, including Royal Nickel and Wallbridge Mining.[citation needed]

Darryl Sittler travels across Canada doing public speaking, autograph signings and appearances for various companies, charities and organizations.

Personal[edit]

His younger brother, Gary Sittler,[10] played five games in the World Hockey Association during the 1974–75 WHA season.

In July 1980 Sittler presented Terry Fox with his NHL All-Star Team jersey in Nathan Phillips Square in front of a crowd of over 10,000 supporters. Fox had said that Sittler was one of his favourite athletes.[citation needed]

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1967–68 London Nationals OHA 54 22 41 63 84 5 5 2 7 6
1968–69 London Knights OHA 53 34 65 99 90 6 2 5 7 11
1969–70 London Knights OHA 54 42 48 90 126 12 4 12 16 32
1970–71 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 49 10 8 18 37 6 2 1 3 31
1971–72 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 74 15 17 32 44 3 0 0 0 2
1972–73 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 78 29 48 77 69
1973–74 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 78 38 46 84 55 4 2 1 3 6
1974–75 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 72 36 44 80 47 7 2 1 3 15
1975–76 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 79 41 59 100 90 10 5 7 12 19
1976–77 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 73 38 52 90 89 9 5 16 21 4
1977–78 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 80 45 72 117 100 13 3 8 11 12
1978–79 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 70 36 51 87 69 6 5 4 9 17
1979–80 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 73 40 57 97 62 3 1 2 3 10
1980–81 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 80 43 53 96 77 3 0 0 0 4
1981–82 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 38 18 20 38 24
1981–82 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 35 14 18 32 50 4 3 1 4 6
1982–83 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 80 43 40 83 60 3 1 0 1 4
1983–84 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 76 27 36 63 38 3 0 2 2 7
1984–85 Detroit Red Wings NHL 61 11 16 27 37 2 0 2 2 0
OHA totals 161 98 154 252 300 23 11 19 30 49
NHL totals 1096 484 637 1121 948 76 29 45 74 137

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Daryl Sittler's longest year," Frank Orr, Toronto Star, March 16, 1980, p. C3.
  2. ^ "Maple Leaf forever? Sittler will stay put at least this season," Ken McKee, Toronto Star, March 8, 1980, p. C3.
  3. ^ a b "Peace is wonderful, but ...," Frank Orr, Toronto Star, September 5, 1980, p. D1.
  4. ^ "Sittler saga finally ends," Wayne Parrish, Toronto Star, January 21, 1982, p. D1.
  5. ^ "Leafs seek youth in any exchange for Darryl Sittler," Ken McKee, Toronto Star, February 19, 1980, p. F1.
  6. ^ "Sittler considering retirement," Rick Fraser, Toronto Star, October 12, 1984, p. B1.
  7. ^ Sittler, Darryl Sittler & Chris Goyens, Macmillan Canada, 1991, p. 224.
  8. ^ "Banner night for Leafs; Sundin hosts on Sittler's special evening," Paul Hunter, Toronto Star, February 9, 2003, p. E1.
  9. ^ "["http://mapleleafs.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=459387 Sittler ceremony brings out the emotion]" John McCauley, February 8, 2003
  10. ^ http://www.hockeydraftcentral.com/1970/70008.html

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Ernie Moser
Toronto Maple Leafs first round draft pick
1970
Succeeded by
George Ferguson
Preceded by
Dave Keon
Toronto Maple Leafs captain
197579 & 198082
Succeeded by
Rick Vaive