In 2011-12, as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Phil Kessel tallied 37 goals and 82 points for a team that would go on to miss the NHL playoffs for the seventh straight season since the 2004-05 lockout. He was the last Maple Leafs player to surpass the 80-point plateau, while also hitting the 80-point mark exactly in 2013-14.
Before him, however, it was Mats Sundin who tallied 80 points in 2001-02 and since then no Maple Leafs player has reached the mark. While current Leafs will surely look to chase down some of the best seasons in franchise history, here’s a look at the top 10 offensive seasons by individual players in Maple Leafs history.
Mats Sundin (1996-97) – 94 points
Backstopped by Felix Potvin and captained by Doug Gilmour, the 1996-97 season was a tough one to swallow for the Maple Leafs. They finished with just 30 wins and 68 points, on the road to missing the playoffs.
The team would trade Gilmour after 60 points in 61 games to the New Jersey Devils and still he finished second in team scoring that year. However, there was one bright spot for the Maple Leafs in 1996-97 in the form of future captain Mats Sundin.
Sundin was just one of two players to score 30 goals that year (the other being Wendel Clark who tallied 30) finishing the year with 41, while he led the team in scoring with 94 points.
He went on to put up 987 points in 981 carer regular season games with the Maple Leafs over parts of 13 seasons and remains first in franchise history in both goals (420) and points (987) during the regular season.
Gary Leeman (1989-90) – 95 points
The 1989-90 Maple Leafs were a little more offensively inclined than the players that Sundin played with in 1996-97. Mark Osborne and Daniel Marois both hit the 70-point mark, while Ed Olczyk and Vincent Damphousse tallied 88 and 94 respectively.
But at 25, the team was led on the offensive end by Gary Leeman who put up 95 points in just 80 games for the Maple Leafs. He was the only player on the team that season to finish the year with 50 plus goals (at 51) and added 44 assists on top of that.
Leeman was just one of a number of players who helped the Leafs to the playoffs in 1989-90 where they ended up losing the St. Louis in the first round in five games.
Still, it was a career-year for Leeman whose next highest point total was 75 the year before with the Maple Leafs.
Darryl Sittler (1980-81) – 96 points
The eighth best offensive season in Maple Leafs’ history takes us to a guy who we’ll find quite often on this list – Darryl Sittler. At 30 years old, Sittler played in 80 regular season games for the Maple Leafs scoring 43 goals and a total of 96 points.
Like Leeman’s Leafs from 1989-90, the team lost in the preliminary round of the playoffs to the New York Islanders. Sittler was ultimately shutout in that series, but it was a far cry from what he did in the regular season.
He fired home five hattricks during the season on route to his 43 goals – which was his second-highest total during his career. What’s crazy is that he actually finished second on the team in points – one behind a 25-year-old Wilf Paiement.
Wilf Paiement (1980-81) – 97 points
Let’s stay in 1980-81 for just a moment and look at the season Paiement had. At 25, the winger played just 77 games for the Maple Leafs. Still he finished second in goals for the team with 40 behind Sittler and atop the team’s scoring list with 97 points.
While he led the team in scoring, Paiement didn’t even crack the top 12 in the NHL with Bryan Trottier, Rick Middleton and Jacques Richard closing out that list with 103 points. Still, that was his best and only full season with the Maple Leafs on his way to 203 points in 187 games with the team over parts of three seasons.
The Maple Leafs traded Paiement the following year to Quebec for Miroslav Frycer and Quebec’s seventh-round choice (Jeff Triano) in the 1982 NHL Draft.
Darryl Sittler (1979-80) – 97 points
Jumping back one year to 1979-80, we’re back talking about a Leafs legend in Sittler. One year before he put up 96 points and finished second in team scoring, a 29-year-old Sittler notched 40 goals and 97 points in 73 games for the Maple Leafs – leading the team by a long shot that year.
The closest player to him was defenceman Borje Salming who tallied a whopping 71 points in 74 games behind Sittler’s 97. Still the Maple Leafs were shut down in the preliminary round of the playoffs losing three straight to the Minnesota North Stars.
Sittler finished ninth in league scoring that year with Kings’ forward Marcel Dionne leading the way with 137 points in 80 games. It was the third highest point total in Sittler’s career.
Dave Andreychuk (1993-94) – 99 points
In more recent memory, the 1993-94 season was one of significant offence for the Maple Leafs. The team finished among the middle of the pack in goals for and among the top ten in goals against.
While Doug Gilmour would lead the way offensively, a 30-year-old Dave Andreychuk came in behind him in team scoring with a career year. He played 83 games during the regular season tallying a team-high 53 goals and finishing the year with 99 points.
It secured him ninth in league scoring and helped get the Leafs into the playoffs. The Maple Leafs would go on to lose to the Vancouver Canucks in the Conference Finals in five games while Andreychuk added another 10 points in their 18 postseason games.
Darryl Sittler (1975-76) – 100 points
Getting back to Sittler, he owns two of four seasons of 100 or more points in franchise history. The first came in 1975-76 while he captained the franchise to a record of 34-31-15. The team was eventually forced out of the postseason in the second round thanks to a seven-game series loss at the hands of the Philadelphia Flyers, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort.
Sittler led the team with five goals and 12 points in 10 playoff games and that came after he led the Maple Leafs in the regular season with 41 goals and 100 points – seven more than the second place Lanny McDonald.
He finished ninth in league scoring, while the season would go down as the second-highest point total in his career. He also finished the year with four hattricks – and two of which led to games of five or more goals.
Doug Gilmour (1993-94) – 111 points
Getting back to the 1993-94 season when Andreychuk notched 99 points, there was another Maple Leafs who broke the 100-point barrier – Gilmour. At the time, Gilmour was 30 years old with 10 seasons of NHL hockey under his belt. But that didn’t stop him.
The Killer put up 27 goals and 111 points while averaging just over an assist per game. Come playoff time he maintained the torrid pace tallying another six goals and 28 points in just 18 games for the Maple Leafs before they were bounced from the postseason.
While Sittler accounts for two of the Maple Leafs’ 100-point seasons, Gilmour is responsible for the other two and his 111-point campaign is nothing compared to what he achieved one year earlier.
Darryl Sittler (1977-78) – 117 points
Two seasons after Sittler hit the 100-point mark for the Maple Leafs, he did it again in 1977-78 as a 27-year-old captain of the team. This time, he notched 117 points, including 45 goals. He finished 30 points up on McDonald (87 points) in team scoring and essentially carried the team into the playoffs.
He added another 11 points in 13 postseason games as the Maple Leafs were finally ousted in the semifinals by the Montreal Canadiens in four straight games, but what Sittler was able to do in the regular season has only been bettered once in franchise history.
On top of that, he finished third in NHL scoring that year behind only Bryan Trottier (123 points) and Guy Lafleur (132 points).
Doug Gilmour (1992-93) – 127 points
But the greatest offensive season in franchise history takes us back to 1992-93 and a 29-year-old Gilmour. The Maple Leafs went 44-29-11 led largely on the offensive end by Gilmour’s 32 goals and 127 points.
Nobody came close to doing what Gilmour did for the Leafs that year — with Nikolai Borschevsky coming in second on the team in scoring with 74 points. It was Gilmour’s first full season with the Leafs after coming over from Calgary and he impressed the brass quickly.
He added 35 more points in 21 playoff games as the Maple Leafs were knocked off by the Los Angeles Kings and Wayne Gretzky in the semifinals missing out on a chance to play Montreal for the Stanley Cup.
Gilmour finished eighth in league scoring and was awarded the Frank J. Selke award as the league’s top defensive forward. Now, a Hall-of-Famer, he will always be remembered for having the greatest offensive campaign in Maple Leafs’ history.