A vicious fighter on the ice, a beloved teammate, and a confirmed good guy off the ice. Tie Domi is one of the most prolific players in NHL history, and the stories about him are many, and they’re almost always worth your time. Domi is among the toughest players to ever step on the ice, and his numbers speak for themself.
He played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, and Winnipeg Jets over a 16-year NHL career but is most known for his years in Toronto. There, he was the protector of star player and team captain Mats Sundin, and to this day, he’s the Leafs’ all-time leader in penalty minutes.
He’s also third overall in PIMs in NHL history, and no player in the league’s long history has fought more times than Domi.
And his record of 333 fights will probably stay forever, considering how much the league’s changed since his playing days.
Tie Domi was a special enforcer. On the ice, he was brutal against everyone who crossed his way, but off the ice, he was a leader and a great teammate. And he wasn’t much of a bragger.
Despite his incredible numbers, he rarely talked about fighting, and he often refused to talk about who his toughest opponent was or who was the best fighter.
And that was one of his strengths, according to himself. When Domi was in a Q&A with Sportsnet some years ago, he talked about why he never talked about fighting, and he also revealed that Bob Probert thought that Domi was the toughest he had ever fought.
And that speaks volumes. To be named the toughest by Bob Probert, one of the league’s worst guys ever is certainly something.
”That’s why I didn’t want to talk about having the most fights. It speaks for itself. I wanted to be the best at what I did. I was a smaller guy. If I lost any (fight), I lost less than five. Nobody ever hurt me. Guys may have thought they got the better of me, but nobody really hurt me ever. Dave Brown hit me hard. Probie hit me. But Probert said I was the toughest he fought and the hardest he was hit,” Domi said.
”Those moments I had with Bob Probert were special. The bonds I have, the role I did, including the tough guys I fought, every one of those guys can relate to the mental side of what I say in there. Everyone of those guys are the only ones who will understand. Maybe I’m the high-profile one because I did it the most, but they all did it the same.”