While still playing college hockey center Rich Costello was traded from the Philadelphia Flyers to the Toronto Maple Leafs in a deal that saw former team captain and future Hockey Hall of Famer Darryl Sittler leave Toronto. Costello, who was born on June 27th, 1963 in Farmington, Massachusetts would never be able to live up to the lofty expectations of the Maple Leaf fans.
Costello spent part of the 1983-84 season with the United States National Team but also made his NHL debut that year with the Maple Leafs. Costello played 10 games and scored 2 goals and an assist. The following year he played his first full season of pro hockey, but failed to impress the Maple Leaf management when he recorded just 14 points in 80 games.
In 1985-86 Costello played better hockey in the American Hockey League and earned another call-up from the Leafs, this time playing in 2 games and registering one assist. It would be his last time in the NHL.
Costello spent the next two seasons in the AHL before continuing his career in Germany. He returned to North America for his final season of professional hockey, playing in just nine games with the International Hockey League's Albany Choppers.