Darcy was born February 16, 1953 in Vancouver and played 11 years in the NHL – drafted 13th overall in the 1973 NHL Draft by the Chicago Black Hawks. Rota stepped straight into the Blackhawks’ roster in 1973/74, and turned in a rookie season with 21 goals and 33 total points in 74 games. Over the years Rota developed into a solid, gritty two-way player who made a solid contribution to both ends of the ice – with his best year as a Blackhawk in 1976/77, where he co-led in goal scoring (24 goals).
Late in the 1978/79 season Rota was traded to the Atlanta Flames in a block buster trade that saw Tom Lysiak moving to Chicago. His time in Atlanta was short-lived and was traded mid 1979/80 to the Vancouver Canucks, giving Rota an opportunity to play for his hometown team. Rota’s first full season as a Canuck in 1980/81 would be one of his best as a NHL player, as he notched career highs with 25 goals and 56 points. Although missing a significant number of games in the 1982/82 season , he was a key component of the team which reached the 1982 Stanley Cup finals. In the 1982/83 season turned in the finest year of his career where he led the team in goals with 41 and finished with 81 points. Rota was forced to undergo spinal fusion surgery in the summer of 1984 – he attempted to rejoin the team in November of that year but after a few practices decided to retire.
Following his retirement, he worked in public relations for the Canucks, followed later by a role in player development. In 1990, Rota moved to the NHL head office and worked as an assistant to league President John Ziegler. From 1994 to 1996 he served as a commentator on Canuck TV telecasts with Jim Robson.