Hockey Hall of Fame center Darryl Sittler was born September 18, 1950 in St. Jacobs, Ontario. Drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round (eighth overall) of the 1970 NHL Draft after starring for the Ontario Hockey Association's London Knights (formerly called the Nationals).
Sittler went on to become an iconic franchise player for the Maple Leafs. Among his many career highlights, he had four seasons with 40 or more goals, 100 points in 1975-76 and 117 points in 1977-78. In a February 7, 1976 game against the Boston Bruins, Sittler set an NHL single-game record by racking up 10 points (six goals, four assists).
In the early 1980s, Sittler became increasingly estranged from Maple Leafs owner Harold Ballard and general manager Punch Imlach. In November 1981, the veteran superstar informed management that he was willing to waive the no-trade clause in his contract on the condition he was traded either to the Flyers or the Minnesota North Stars.
The Flyers consummated a trade with the Maple Leafs on January 20, 1982. Philadelphia acquired Sittler in exchange for Rick Costello, the Hartford Whalers' 1982 second-round pick (Peter Ihnachek) and future considerations (Ken Strong). Sittler was installed on a line with an old friend, veteran Flyers left winger Bill Barber.
The 31-year-old Sittler still had good hockey left in him upon his arrival in Philadelphia. He went on post 32 points in 35 games in his first half-season with the Flyers and then scored 43 goals and 83 points in 80 games in 1982-83; his first full year as a Flyer. The next year, Sittler posted 27 goals and 63 points. In 10 playoff games as a Flyer, he posted four goals and seven points.
On October 10, 1984, the Flyers traded Sittler to the Detroit Red Wings in a deal that brought fast-rising young forward Murray Craven as well as forward Joe Paterson to Philadelphia. Sittler, who was slated to be named Flyers captain on the day he was traded - after the trade, the captaincy went to Dave Poulin - spent the 1984-85 season with the Red Wings and then retired.
For his NHL career, Sittler played in 1,096 regular season games (484 goals, 637 assists, 1,121 points, 948 penalty minutes) and 76 games in the Stanley Cup playoffs (29 goals, 45 assists, 74 points, 137 penalty minutes). During his two and a half seasons in Philadelphia, Sittler played in 191 regular season games, posting 84 goals, 94 assists, 178 points, 148 penalty minutes and a combined plus-29 rating. Twenty-six of his goals as a Flyer were scored on the power play, and 13 were game-winners.
Darryl Sittler's son, Ryan Sittler, was a Flyers first-round draft pick (seventh overall) in the 1992 NHL Draft. Unfortunately, his career was derailed early by multiple injuries, including a serious eye injury, and the younger Sittler was unable to advance to the National Hockey League.