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 Draft by the Maple Leafs. His rough and tumble style made him a fan favourite in Toronto. He scored at least 20 goals on six occasions and was a two time NHL All-Star.
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. On February 7, 1976 in a game against the Boston Bruins, 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. On September 15, 1976 during the Canada Cup final Darryl scored the tournament winning goal for Canada. In 1989, Sittler was inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
This rugged winger established himself as one of the best power forward’s to ever play in the NHL. He was drafted 12th overall by the Calgary Flames in the 1984 draft. Opposing team players would have their head on a swivel when Roberts was on the ice. He helped Calgary win the Stanley Cup in 1989. In the 91-92 he became the 2nd player in NHL history to score 50 goals and record over 200 penalty minutes in a single season. He would finish his career with over 1200 games and over 2500 penalty minutes.
Dennis Maruk was a classic case of a small man looking to excel in a big man’s game. He would get his chance when he was selected 21st overall in the 1975 NHL draft by the California Golden Seals. He was traded to Washington where he would register 50 goals twice and one incredible campaign where he tallied 60 goals and 76 assists for a total of 136 points. Only nine players in league history have scored as many goals in a single season as Dennis Maruk and only eight players equaled or surpassed his single-season point totals. As a result, Maruk was selected for the All-Star team in 1978 and 1982.
Drafted 8th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in 1984, Shayne Corson quickly established himself as a power forward and would spend parts of eight seasons with Montreal before being traded to the Edmonton Oilers. Shayne spent three seasons with the Oilers before being dealt to the St. Louis Blues returning back to Montreal during the 1996-97 season. Shayne spent the next four seasons back with the Canadiens, representing his country on the Olympic stage in Nagano in 1998, before signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs as a free agent in 2000. He spent the next three years with the Maple Leafs before signing with the Dallas Stars prior to the 2003-04 season, his last year in the NHL.
Vaive was selected fifth overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft.
In 1980, the Canucks traded Vaive, along with Bill Derlago, to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Dave “Tiger” Williams and Jerry Butler. In Toronto, Vaive and Derlago were teamed with Pat Hickey, and Derlago became Vaive’s setup man. Vaive scored prolifically with the Leafs, becoming the first 50-goal scorer in franchise history, surpassing that threshold three times. He recorded 54 goals in 1981-82, 51 goals in 1982-83, and 52 goals in 1983-84. He also served as captain of the Maple Leafs from 1982 to 1986.
The Toronto native attended Notre Dame College in Wilcox, Saskatchewan and was a standout defenseman for two seasons with the WHL’s Regina Pats where he was voted the league’s Top Defenceman and First Team All-Star. He was chosen 24th overall by his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1982 Entry Draft and then returned to junior where he scored 86 points in 63 games. A speedy player with soft hands, Gary Leeman played nearly 700 NHL games for five different clubs. He was best known as a gritty scoring machine on the Toronto Maple Leafs with a 50-goal season to his credit.
After a fine junior career as a goal scorer with the OHL’s North Bay Centennials, McLlwain was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1986. Over the course of his NHL career, McLlwain would play for 6 different NHL teams. McLlwain is best known for playing for a record four different NHL teams in one season during the 1991–92 season. Dave McLlwain took his act to Europe where he enjoyed a solid 12 seasons. He played 501 NHL games recording over 200 points.
Bryan Muir played for Canada’s National team in a tournament in Moscow where he impressed the Edmonton Oilers as they signed him to a try out. Muir was a gritty defenseman that did not have a problem with protecting his teammates. In 2001 the Colorado Avalanche acquired Muir to some strength to their defense course. Muir and the Avalanche ended up winning the Stanley Cup that year. Over his 12 year NHL career, he played for 7 different franchises recording 281 penalty minutes in 279 games.