With the 12th pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, the Coyotes selected a somewhat undersized center named Max Domi. Size is not Max’s only challenge. He is also a Type-1 Diabetic, and he wears an insulin pump while competing.
But if we consider Max’s lineage, his undersized 5’9″ frame will be dwarfed by the size of his competitive heart. You see, Max Domi is the son of “the Albanian Assasson,” Tahir “Tie” Domi. Twenty five years ago this month, Tie Domi was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs with the 27th overall pick. Even to this day, Tie Domi is revered in Toronto following his 16 year NHL career, the majority of which was played with the Maple Leafs.
Tie put up respectable numbers during his career. He had over 100 career goals and over 140 assists. There is every reason to believe that Max has the skills and nose for the net to far exceed these numbers. He averaged more than one point per game this past year playing Junior Hockey for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.
But let me get back to lineage and heart. Max’s father, Tie, held the record for penalty minutes while with Toronto. During his career, he played In over 1000 games during which he amassed a staggering 3,515 penalty minutes. That equates to almost 3.5 minutes of every game spent not on the ice or bench but in the penalty box. He became known as “The Enforcer” and many credit him for much of the career success of Hall of Famer Matt Sundin. It was well known that if you went after Sundin, Tie would even the score. To be clear, Tie was not well-liked by opponents, twice being suspended for sucker punch incidents. But that is of little concern when he wore the same jersey as his teammates.
Max is super fast on the ice, far quicker than his father. Also, Max was often on or near the ice during Maple Leaf practices while growing up. It can be said that the ice runs through his veins. And if Max has the dedication to his teammates that his father spent a career building, the Coyotes threw a sucker punch of their own by selecting the son of Tie Domi.