Vaive wants 50-goal stick back

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:47 AM ET

Rick Vaive's first 50-goal hockey stick is going up for auction, while it's now confirmed that Darryl Sittler's 10-point stick went up in flames.

The two former Maple Leafs captains were asked what artifacts they have in the Hockey Hall of Fame. While Sittler has various items there, the stick used for most of his National Hockey League record 10-point night against goaltender Dave Reece and the Boston Bruins, which occurred 29 years ago Monday, is not among them. Joe Sgro, the Leafs equipment man in 1976, confirmed a long-rumoured story that it was lost in a fire at his Toronto home many years ago.

"It was the stick from his first seven points that night, before the shaft cracked," Sgro said yesterday.

Sittler has no idea where the other stick or sticks went and also lost track of his game sweater and any souvenir pucks from his six goals and four assists in the 11-4 game.

"It's all just a memory now," said Sittler, though he was given a commemorative game sheet from the Leafs a few years ago.

Vaive is in the early stages of organizing an auction for the stick he used on March 24, 1982, beating Mike Liut of the St. Louis Blues to become the first 50-goal man in club history. He would reach 54, 51 and 52 in three consecutive years.

"I've been waiting for the right time and circumstances to auction the stick and I feel the 25th anniversary (in 2007) of my first 50 is perfect," Vaive said. "Obviously, I'll make some money on it, but I'd like to do it in conjunction with a charity, have a big build-up to it next year, perhaps with the help of the Leafs. I'm not looking for a night for me or anything, but it would be a great chance to help a charity and thank all the people who helped with my career. Maybe we could raise $30,000, $40,000 or $50,000."

After Vaive's three-peat of 50 only Gary Leeman and Dave Andreychuk reached the milestone for Toronto, Andreychuk tying Vaive's 54 as the single-season club record. Vaive does not anticipate a problem getting the stick back from the Hall.

"The way I look at it, I just loaned it to them," he said. "I didn't sign anything and I don't believe it's part of their permanent display."

Vaive is unsure what to do with the other two sticks, but hopes one day to divide his collection of NHL and World Hockey Association gear between his two teenage sons.


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