Tony Twist wasn’t the most popular player when the 1988 NHL Entry Draft started. He got passed for 176 picks until he eventually got selected by the St. Louis Blues in the ninth round. And what a great decision that turned out to be. When Twist retired, he did it as a true cult hero for the Blues and a fan favorite if there ever was one.
Twist got traded to the Quebec Nordiques early into his NHL career, but in 1994, he returned to the Blues. Twist was an enforcer who gave just about everything for his team.
He had over 1,100 PIMs and played in 445 games. Of course, 445 games are not that many, but it was enough for Twist to really put his mark.
He formed the St. Louis Brues Brothers with fellow enforcer and teammate Kelly Chase, and with their huge physics and feared knuckles; they were a nightmare to play against.
Twist is among the best fighters in NHL history, and nobody enjoyed throwing the gloves with him. Twist played in a time when fighting was way more usual than it is today, and enforcers actually enjoyed all the fights and battles. But not when Tony Twist stood eye to eye with you.
Some of the league’s most vicious enforcers have said Twist was one of the worst, and Darren McCarty agrees.
One time when McCarty and Twist played against each other, the Detroit Red Wings icon even got his coach to save him from entering a fight. That’s how much he feared Twist.
”I really didn’t want to fight (Tony) Twist. Nobody really wanted to fight Twist, because we all understood that he could hurt you,” McCarty said in his autobiography, ’My Last Fight – The True Story of a Hockey Rock Star’.
”Seeing that both of us were jawing before a face-off, Scotty (Bowman) stood on the bench and screamed, ”If you fight Twist again, you will never play another minute for me.”
”I turned to Twist and said, ”Sorry Twister, but I want to play. Can’t fight you.”
”Thank you Scotty for saving my ass. He knew exactly what he was doing when he yelled me. He was helping me save face.”