My favourite memory of Tie Domi: (So far!)
As a gift for my 22nd Birthday (April 15th, 1998) I received two tickets in the corner end Golds at Maple Leaf Gardens to watch the Leafs and the Chicago Blackhawks. As me and a friend entered the Gardens through the Hot Stove Lounge we were directed to a booth where we enjoyed some spirits and food before the warm-up. Walking through the corridor and up the walk way we emerged to see the lights in full glare with both teams taking the warm-up. I instantly had a chill as to the spectre of the arena and the players on the ice up close and personal.
As we settled into our seats and the game began we quickly realised that the two top NHL heavy weights were lining up against each other tonight. Bob Probert and Tie Domi!!! How lucky were we? we would soon find out…..Although the anticipated Domi vs. Probert fight would have been good….a fight breaks out in our corner between Tie & Cam Russell as they start to through jabs, it is quickly determined that Russell is nowhere near a match for the NHL’s top Heavyweight. This fight continues with plenty of punches and we are all on our feet as the fight is less than 15 feet away! Tie knocks Cam’s helmet off and then pulls his jersey over his head…as this happened Cam starts to fall backwards and Tie lands one last punch that leaves Cam out cold on the ice in front of us. The crowd is absolutely going nuts as their is no question who is the fan favourite in this building!! As Cam Russell lay motionless you could tell that Tie did not want the outcome to be like this and the look on his face shared his concern for his opponent…after a short delay the medical staff wheel Cam off the ice and Tie heads to the penalty box. I noticed while he was going that Bob Probert was leaning over the bench and was motioning for Tie to fight….
Now we thought the game would settle into it’s normal pace…Ha~ that wasn’t going to happen. Kris King & Reid Simpson had a fuelled dual later in the 2nd period. Heading into the 3rd it seemed that Probert was on the ice only to look at getting revenge. It finally happened as Tie acknowledged the veteran and they locked up…the crowd was back on their feet and we witnessed another classic Tie vs. Probert match-up. It was a nice fight..plenty of swinging and lots of enthusiasm from both involved.
I had respect for Tie for getting into this fight, he knew that Probert needed to stick up for his fallen teammate…and easily could have waited for another game to do battle, but instead granted the wish. To this day I still have not had the same rush of adrenaline from watching any other NHL game. It was a great memory for me as a Hockey Fan and it solidified Tie Domi as a true Blue and White legend.
Congrats on 1000th ~ I have enjoyed watching you from your days in Peterborough, New York, Winnipeg & Here in Toronto where you have never dissapointed US the Fans!