Top 10 Scandals in the History of the Toronto Maple Leafs

Dumpster Fire: A fan burns a John Tavares jersey prior to the game between the New York Islanders and the Toronto Maple Leafs at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on February 28, 2019 in Uniondale City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Dumpster Fire: A fan burns a John Tavares jersey prior to the game between the New York Islanders and the Toronto Maple Leafs at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on February 28, 2019 in Uniondale City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
Referee Terry Gregson has a chat with Tie Domi #28 of the Toronto Maple Leafs against the New Jersey Devils during NHL game action on March 3, 1999 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Graig Abel/Getty Images) /

4. Domi’s Sharp Elbow

Before he was known as Max Domi’s father or even a failed comic, Tie Domi was a fan favorite with the Toronto Maple Leafs. That’s because he was never afraid to get physical on the ice and drop his mitts with larger opponents.

Playing with grit and sandpaper helped Domi have longevity in the NHL. He lasted 16 years in the league, long enough to collect 333 fights and 3,753 penalty minutes. That style of play may have benefited the enforcer from Windsor, Ontario, but it also got him in trouble.

On May 3, 2001 Domi crossed the line in what he described in his autobiography as “the dumbest thing I did in my career.” Playing in Game 4 of the Easter Conference Semi-Finals against the New Jersey Devils, Domi suckered Scott Niedermayer with an unprovoked elbow to the face. The defenseman was knocked unconscious and lay motionless on the ice.

Niedermayer was flown to New Jersey and brought to Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston. He underwent a CAT scan and neurological tests. In the end, it was determined that Niedermayer had suffered a concussion.

Domi would explain in his book that the elbow was an act of revenge for taking a Niedermayer stick to the bridge of his nose in Game 2 of the series. He admit that the act was premeditated, which makes his action so much worse.

Following the incident, Niedermayer told reporters that Domi had planned the attack and even warned the Devil two games earlier that retribution was coming. “He said he was going to take a suspension on me,” Nidermayer said of Domi.

Domi did apologize to the blue liner at the time. He left a message on Niedermayer’s answering machine.

While the Leafs won the game, the team lost Domi for the rest of the series. That’s because he was suspended for the remainder of the playoffs and eight regular season games to start the 2001-02 campaign.