Named after boxing legends Rocky Marciano and Sugar Ray Robinson, Rocky Ray Saganiuk almost didn't have an NHL career. After being drafted 29th overall by the Maple Leafs in the 1977 Amateur Draft, Saganiuk was cross-checked from behind, breaking the first and seventh vertebrae in his neck and causing the loss of feeling on his left side. This during a game with the CHL's Dallas Black Hawks in the 1977-78 season. With a name like Rocky, he refused to be off the ice for long.
After recovering from the hit, Saganiuk began the next season with the Leafs AHL farm team in New Brunswick. He was called up twice to Toronto, only to be sent back East. He led the AHL in goals that season with 47 and without missing the games he spent with the Blue and White he would have had a chance to break the goal scoring record in a season at the time of 52. Instead, Rocky was presented with the Les Cunningham Award as the league's MVP and was up with the Leafs to begin the next season.
His first full season in Toronto, 1979-80, saw Saganiuk paired with John Anderson and Laurie Boschman to form the famous "Kid Line." In the last 55 games of the season, the line was responsible for 60 goals. After scoring 24 goals and collecting 47 points in his first season, the next year saw a drop in production for Saganiuk. The 1982-83 season would see Rocky in only three games with the Leafs and an extended stay back in the AHL with the St. Catharines Saints ensued. The off-season saw him traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins where he was on the receiving end of a Craig Ludwig check that injured his back and required surgery.
After rehabilitation, the Leafs signed him to a contract as a free agent once again and began the season in St. Catharines with a full intention of making it back into the Leafs' lineup. He played only four games for the Saints when his bad back forced him to sit out the season and the next.
After commentating for both the Leafs and Penguins on radio, Saganiuk laced up his skates again to play with the OHA's Senior League in the 1986-87 season. The league was compiled of ex-pros and junior players who never made it to the NHL, the majority of whom had full-time jobs but who were still looking to compete.
Saganiuk then moved to Britain for the 1987-88 season and played for the first two seasons and then became a coach, while playing in only a few games for several teams until 1995.