A storied franchise, it’s only natural that the Toronto Maple Leafs have seen their fair share of stars don the blue and white jersey. In fact, a number of them are enshrined outside Scotiabank Arena – their names engraved on Legends Row.
While many legends have come and gone from the Big Smoke, only two can say that they’ve had 100-point seasons as members of the Maple Leafs. Quite an exclusive club, what’s even more impressive is that both players reached the milestone twice as members of the club.
It’s true that some NHL teams have yet to see a 100-point scorer, but here’s a look at the only four 100-point campaigns that the Maple Leafs have seen in their franchise’s history.
Sittler Shines With Century Mark
The first time a member of the Maple Leafs hit the 100-point plateau came back in 1975-76 when long-time legend Darryl Sittler attacked the mark and finished the year with exactly 100 points.
Drafted by Toronto in the first round, eighth overall, in 1970, Sittler broke into the league with the Maple Leafs as a 20-year-old in 1970-71 and put up just 18 points in 49 games for the team. However, his offensive abilities picked up quickly in his career and in just his sixth season in the NHL, Sittler locked in on that 100-point milestone.
It was 1975-76. Sittler was a 25-year-old and in his sixth season as a member of the Maple Leafs. At that point, his career high in points was 84 set back in 1973-74.
Donning the ‘C’ as captain of the Maple Leafs, Sittler led the team to a 34-31-15 record in 1975-76 which landed them a postseason berth. Unfortunately, the Maple Leafs were knocked out in the second round by the Philadelphia Flyers, but that wasn’t what the season would be most remembered for.
Instead, it was Sittler’s 100-point season. The first of its kind for the Maple Leafs, Sittler finished the year with 41 goals and 59 assists for 100 points in 79 games that year. He averaged 1.27 points per game that year – 0.25 more than his career average.
Over that season, he tallied four hat tricks, finished ninth in league scoring and that was the year he set the NHL record for points in a game with 10 – a record that remains unbroken today.
Sittler Does It Again
Just two seasons after his first – and the franchise’s first – 100-point season, it was Sittler at it again in 1977-78. After compiling 90 points in 73 games following his first 100-point season, Sittler notched a career-high 117 points in 80 games during the 1977-78 season as a 27-year-old.
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His numbers included a career-high in goals (45) and assists (72) and he finished with a surprising 100 penalty minutes to go along with his incredible point total. He led the Maple Leafs in points, 30 points ahead of their second-leading scorer Lanny McDonald who finished with 87.
On top of that, he finished tied for second in the league in assists with Montreal’s Guy Lafleur and third in points behind Lafleur and New York’s Bryan Trottier. He was third in Hart Trophy voting that season and was named to the all-star team.
What’s amazing is that, while he had four hat tricks in his first 100-point season, Sittler had just one hat trick during the 1977-78 season and didn’t have a 10-point game like he did two years prior. Instead, his consistency throughout the season was a major factor to his overall production to finish the year.
The Killer Sets A Record
It took the Maple Leafs 15 years to find themselves another 100-point player, but in 1992-93 Doug Gilmour set a franchise record for points in a season – a record that likely won’t be broken anytime soon.
A seventh-round pick of the St. Louis Blues in 1982, Gilmour was 29-years-old in his first full season with the Maple Leafs in 1992-93, but it didn’t stop him from scoring 32 goals and adding 95 assists for 127 points in 83 games. The outstanding season left him second in Hart Trophy voting and helped him with the Selke that season.
Like Sittler in 1977-78, Gilmour wasn’t an easy customer adding 100 penalty minutes to his offensive totals.
That said, Gilmour finished well out of the lead for points in the NHL that season. He finished tied for seventh with Alexander Mogilny, while Mario Lemieux finished the year with 160 points in just 60 games for the Penguins that year.
He did, however, carry the Maple Leafs that season into the playoffs as he led the team in scoring with Nikolai Borschevsky sitting in second with 53 fewer points that Gilmour by season’s end.
Gilmour added another 35 points in 21 playoff games before the Maple Leafs were bounced by – what is still considered – a questionable call involving Gilmour and Wayne Gretzky in the Conference Final.
Gilmour’s Encore Performance
A year later, Gilmour had an encore performance for the Maple Leafs as he was able to hit the century mark again in 1993-94. While it wasn’t 127 points, he did finish the season with 111 points in 83 games and became the only Maple Leafs player to reach the mark in back-to-back seasons.
Once again, to go along with his 27 goals and 84 assists, Gilmour added 105 penalty minutes making him a force for the Maple Leafs. He finished with the team lead in points, only this time his teammates weren’t as far behind him with Dave Andreychuk netting 53 goals and 99 points.
Gilmour netted just one hat trick that season against the Detroit Red Wings and overall added to his legacy as a Hall of Fame player and a legend with the Maple Leafs.
While some players have come close – like Andreychuk’s 99 points in 1993-94 and Mats Sundin, Wilf Paiement, Gary Leeman and Sittler all having 90 point seasons as members of the Maple Leafs – only Sittler and Gilmour have hit the century mark donning the blue and white.
The most recent attempt was Mitch Marner who had an outstanding season in just his third NHL season as a 21-year-old. He finished with 26 goals and 94 points in 82 games, but came up just shy of the 100-point plateau.
Other than that, the Maple Leafs’ faithful are starving for another 100-point player. After all, it’s been 26 years since Gilmour had his last 100-point season for the Maple Leafs and scoring just isn’t as prevalent as it once was in the NHL.
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Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.