Five of the greatest Leafs to wear the blue and white!

Wendell Clark

#17

If there was a list of the most popular Toronto Maple Leaf players of all-time, one could be certain that the name Wendel Clark would be right near the top. The former Maple Leafs’ captain was idolized by thousands of hockey fans, and held a status, which was nothing short of legendary during more than a decade of service with the blue and white.

Clark was selected first overall in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft by the Maple Leafs after playing two years with the Saskatoon Blades in the WHL. For much of Clark’s childhood, and through most of his playing days in Saskatoon, he was a defenceman. Due to his immense talent, he was used primarily on defense but also saw additional playing time on the left wing during his last year with the Blades, where he scored 32 goals and 87 points in 64 games. There was also a tenacious and at times nasty side to the way Clark played the game, as was evidenced by his 253 minutes in penalties. Clark’s biggest accomplishment in his teen years was helping Canada’s national team take the gold medal at the 1985 World Junior Hockey Championships.

Clark played 13 of his 15 NHL seasons in Toronto. He played in 793 games, scoring 330 goals and 564 points with 1,690 penalty minutes. Clark also contributed 37 goals and 69 points in 95 playoff games.

Doug Gilmour

#93

Gilmour played his best hockey with the Leafs. He was a pesky defensive forward who seemed fearless in his checking. Offensively, he was the focal point of an improving team, setting a franchise record with 127 points in his first full season with Toronto in 1992-93. He became only the second Leaf after Darryl Sittler to register over a hundred points in a season and also led the team to within a game of the Stanley Cup Final, placing second in playoff scoring and leading the league with 25 assists. Gilmour placed second to Mario Lemieux in the race for the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player but won the Selke Trophy as the top defensive forward, a remarkable achievement for a player with such offensive numbers. Over the course of his distinguished playing career, Gilmour registered 1414 points on the strength of 450 goals and 964 assists in 1,474 regular season games. He added 188 points (60 goals and 128 assists) in 182 playoff games.

On January 31, 2009, Gilmour became the seventeenth player to be honoured by the Toronto Maple Leafs when his number 93 was raised to the rafters of the Air Canada Centre. In 2011, Doug Gilmour was selected for Induction to the Hockey Hall of Fame.Clark was selected first overall in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft by the Maple Leafs after playing two years with the Saskatoon Blades in the WHL. For much of Clark’s childhood, and through most of his playing days in Saskatoon, he was a defenceman. Due to his immense talent, he was used primarily on defense but also saw additional playing time on the left wing during his last year with the Blades, where he scored 32 goals and 87 points in 64 games. There was also a tenacious and at times nasty side to the way Clark played the game, as was evidenced by his 253 minutes in penalties. Clark’s biggest accomplishment in his teen years was helping Canada’s national team take the gold medal at the 1985 World Junior Hockey Championships.

Clark played 13 of his 15 NHL seasons in Toronto. He played in 793 games, scoring 330 goals and 564 points with 1,690 penalty minutes. Clark also contributed 37 goals and 69 points in 95 playoff games.

Curtis Joseph

#31

“CuJo” is immediately recognizable on the ice for his masks featuring a snarling dog, drawing inspiration from the Stephen King novel Cujo, which also happens to be his nickname, derived from the first two letters of his first and last names. Throughout his NHL career, Joseph played for a number of franchises, rising to prominence during the playoffs with the St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, and Toronto Maple Leafs. He was also a member of Canada’s gold medal winning team at the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Joseph retired with the most career wins (454) of any goaltender in NHL history who never played on a Stanley Cup-winning team (which has since been surpassed by Roberto Luongo), and was also the first goaltender to have 30 or more wins in a regular season for five different teams. The goalie known to teammates as Cujo was a workhorse, making 60 or more starts on 10 separate occasions. His 51 shutouts are tied with Dave Kerr and Rogie Vachon for 20th all-time.

Off the ice, he established Cujo’s Kids for underprivileged children and travelled with Right to Play to Rwanda among his charitable endeavours. He was recognized by the NHL with the King Clancy Award in 2000, given to players who exhibit leadership and significant contribution to their communities.

Joseph announced his retirement on January 12, 2010 in Toronto and will always be remembered as a fan favourite in the blue and white.

Darryl Sittler

#27

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 overall 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 10 points (six goals and four assists) and set an NHL record for the most points in a single game—a record that still stands today. 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.
Darryl Sittler was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1989 after retiring from the National Hockey League in 1985. Sittler spent the first 11½ of his 15 NHL seasons with the Maple Leafs. He finished his career with 484 goals and 1121 points.
On February 8, 2003, in a touching tribute to an illustrious career, Sittler was honoured prior to a home game against the Montreal Canadiens. The organizers proudly raised a banner to the rafters of the Air Canada Centre (ACC) with Sittler’s name and jersey number 27.

In 2012, Sittler became part of the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame (OSFH) and recipient of the Sandy Hawley Community Service Award. This award is presented annually to an individual who best exemplifies dedication to the community.
Sittler was added to the prestigious Maple Leafs’ Legends Row in 2014. Legends Row is an exhibit outside the ACC that pays tribute to the men who helped make the Toronto Maple Leafs one of the most iconic clubs in sports.
Sittler was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2016. That same year, he was named 4th in a ranked list of the Top 100 Leafs Players of all time.

Sittler is a Founding Co-Chair for ‘Have a Heart for Downs Syndrome’ (HHDS) a charitable, non-profit foundation whose mission it is to create opportunities in education, training, employment and housing initiatives in our communities, so that all people with Down syndrome can live full and happy lives.

Lanny McDonald

#7

Lanny McDonald’s hero while growing up was his father who had taught him the value of hard work and honesty on the family farm in Craigmyle, Alberta, about 22 miles from Hanna.

McDonald was Toronto’s first choice, 4th overall, in the 1973 NHL Amateur Draft and got off to slow starts in both his rookie and sophomore seasons. Everything seemed to come together by his third season and he more than doubled his point production from the previous year. His fine showing earned him an invitation to the Team Canada training camp in preparation for the 1976 Canada Cup tournament. He appeared in five games for the host country and assisted on Darryl Sittler’s series-winning overtime goal against Czechoslovakia. The highlight of his Leafs career came in the 1978 playoffs when he scored in overtime of game seven to eliminate the New York Islanders and send his Leafs into the Stanley Cup semi-finals.

McDonald was known for his blistering shot off the right wing and when he took the body hard in the corners players felt the contact and remembered it. He was a tough, clean player and was named to the NHL’s Second All-Star team in 1977. McDonald also played in the 1978 All-Star Game and was a member of the NHL squad that played the Soviet National Team in the Challenge Cup series in 1979 to replace that year’s All-Star Game.

The 1988-89 season was a banner year for McDonald; he won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, the “Bud” Man of the Year Award, scored his 1,000th point on March 7, 1989, against Winnipeg Jets, scored his 500th goal on March 21, 1989, against the New York Islanders, and won the Stanley Cup with the Flames.

McDonald was always available to assist charities such as Big Brothers and Ronald McDonald House, but the Special Olympic remain his special interest. “Seeing those faces is as nice as scoring 66 goals; it’s a saw off,” he once said about his work with the Special Olympics.

He was a Vice-President with the Flames organization for many years following his retirement and was named general manager of Canada’s entry in the 2001 World Championships. After serving nine years on its Selection Committee, in 2015, Lanny McDonald was named chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame.