DARCY, TIE AND MATS

by Ron Spence

A few years back, I had a hockey enforcers’ website and interviewed both Darcy and Tie Domi.

And this summer, remembering my interview with Darcy, I cracked up.

Darcy was new to the NHL and was trying to establish himself as a fighter, and in those days the senior pugilist had to agree to fight you.

According to protocol, it was his right to decline.

Darcy asked Tie for a fight – one night in Toronto – and the Leafs’ tough guy shook his head.

He asked Domi a second time and received the same answer.

Finally, Darcy said, “Well, I’ll run Mr. X!”

“You’d better not!” Tie gasped. “You’ll make me look bad.”

“Well, fight me then,” Darcy countered.

Domi then explained that he was going to battle Florida’s giant fighter, Peter Worrell the following night, and he was too banged up to fight Hordichuk that particular evening.

Darcy, understanding Domi’s position, nodded and skated away.

Who was Mr. X?

Mats Sundin. Darcy’s new teammate in Vancouver.

I also interviewed Ottawa’s enforcer Chris Neil and he was talking about the time he had broken his right hand, and was sent down to the ECHL to play himself back into shape.

“Did you fight much down there?” I asked.

“Of course,” he said. “I learned how to punch with my left hand.”

*******************************************************************************

I also talked to Brian McGrattan about breaking into the NHL with Ottawa.

The Sens were playing against the Leafs – and Brian in awe of his idol Tie Domi – said, “Mr. Domi, will you fight me?”

McGrattan knew that he had better be polite to the Leafs’ tough guy, as his father was also a big Domi fan.

Unfortunately, it was near the end of Domi’s career and Mr. Tie was nearly killed.

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One response to “DARCY, TIE AND MATS

  1. I allow myself one sport to get wrapped up in, and hockey it is. This kind of thing is why. I remember the photo of Tie jumping on the ice for his first game in Winnipeg wearing his side to side grin of pure happy. I’ve had the pleasure of being the buddy of a muttish pitt-bull I named Anthony Quinn [that fine actor passed away the week I got the dog] and every day my little 65lb shit-head wears that smile. Attitude and love, particularily the latter for the females of any species, has made him far more popular and memorable than me in the West End. I’ve noticed, as he gets older, that he’ll challenge any young punk to an inpromptue slapdown,,, yet he is a touch more cautious. More noise than fisticuffs. Same grin afterwords. Love that mutt. Doug Coupland talked about the feeling of missing something that has’nt gone yet. Hockey players and fine dogs. Damn…
    Gino, the best Canuck ever.
    Ramble…beer and rye.
    Pet the dog.

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