Tie Domi — best known for dropping hisgloves — has decided to hang up his skates.
The longtime NHL enforcer, who spent the last 11seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, officially announced his retirement at a packed media conference Tuesday afternoon at Toronto's Air Centre Centre.
"I love hockey, I love the Toronto Maple Leafs, this is my home," said Domi, who was cut loose by the Leafs during the offseason. "There were other interests, but I couldn't see myself wearing another jersey other than the blue and white."
Domi said he has accepted a job with sports television network TSN.
"I may be leaving the ice, but I'm not leaving hockey," he said. "I am excited and nervous in my new role, but I promise to bring the same person that had the passion, dedication and the enthusiasm to the broadcast arena that I delivered to the ice."
Domi, 36, played 1,020 career NHL games with the Leafs, New York Rangers and Winnipeg Jets, amassing just over 3,500 penalty minutes to go with 104 goals and 141 assists.
Drafted by the Leafs
The son of Albanian immigrants— his given name is Tahir— Domi enjoyed a solid junior career with the Peterborough Petes, for whom he combined his soon-to-be famous penchant for pugilism with a decent scoring touch. In 1987-88, he had 22 goalsalong with292 penalty minutes.
The Windsor, Ont., native was chosen in the second round (27th overall) of the 1988 NHL draft by the Leafs,for whom he played two games before beingdealt to the Rangers.
Listed— perhaps generously —at five-foot-10, Domi quickly became a fan favourite in New York for his willingness tobrawl with opponents of any size, including vaunted Detroit Red Wings tough guy Bob Probert, with whom Domi tangled in a series of memorable bouts.
After less than three seasons with the Rangers, Domi was traded to the Jets, who shipped him tothe Leafstowards the end of the 1994-95 campaign. Despite never scoring more than 15 goals in a season for Toronto, Domi remained one of the most popular Leafs during his 11 seasons with the team.
Contract bought out
After Toronto signed Domi to an eyebrow-raising two-year deal worth an estimated $2.5 million prior to last season, Domi struggled to adapt to the new NHL landscape thatputs more emphasis on speed and offensive skills, and lesson fighting.
In 77 games last season, Domi recorded five goals and 11 assists, his lowest offensive output since 1999-2000, when he had 14 points in 70 games. Domi's 109 penalty minutes last season were thefewest of his career.
With the Leafs looking to move in a different direction under new coach Paul Maurice, the team announced in June that it would buy out the final year of Domi's contract.
"We want to thank Tie for his many years of service to the organization," Leafsgeneral managerJohn Ferguson said in June while announcing the buyout. "He became a fan favorite for a reason."