Darcy Rota was born in Vancouver and eventually became one of the most popular players in Vancouver Canucks’ history. A left-winger, who lived in both Prince George and Kelowna, he played his junior hockey with the Edmonton Oil Kings and was selected in the first round of the NHL entry draft by the Chicago Blackhawks Before being traded to the Atlanta Flames in a multi-player deal. After only 54 games he was traded “home” to Vancouver on February 8th, 1980.
In his junior years, Rota was always considered an offensive threat, however, in both Chicago and Atlanta he played more of a defensive role. In Vancouver he certainly had his most productive seasons in term of offense. The trade to Vancouver helped Rota realize two dreams: playing in Vancouver and having a chance to play for the Stanley Cup. He was a key member of the team during its towel-waving run to the 1982 Stanley Cup Finals. Although the run ended in a four-game sweep by the powerful New York Islanders, Rota will always cherish the memories.
“Those whole 1982 playoffs were the highlight of my career. I’ll always remember beating Chicago in the fifth game in Chicago, to make the Stanley Cup Final-–the first time the Canucks’ organization had done so.”
1982-83 was a personal best season for Rota with 42 goals, 39 assists for 81 points. During his eleven seasons in the NHL, Rota played 794 games in which he scored 256 goals (including eight hat-tricks), 239 assists totaling 495 points. At the time of his retirement, Rota held the team’s all-time left-wing goals (42) and points (81) records in a regular season.
Rota retired from playing in December of 1984 following his doctor’s advice but remained active in hockey in the years after. Some positions Rota held include: director of player development for the Vancouver Canucks, assistant to league president with the National Hockey League, member of the Dave Barr/Darcy Rota Boston Pizza Foundation Golf Tournament, and most recently co-owner, president, and general manager for the Coquitlam Junior A Hockey Club.