In the history of the Toronto Maple Leafs, there have been many really tough players. Perhaps the first three that come to mind are Wendel Clari, Tie Domi, and Doug Gilmour.
Wendel Clark is considered one of the toughest Maple Leafs players in history. He was known for his physical style of play and his willingness to stand up for his teammates. He was widely loved by the fans for his toughness and leadership on the ice.
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Domi was known for his fighting ability, and he, too, was willing to stand up and protect his teammates. He played for the Maple Leafs for 11 seasons and also became a fan favorite.
Gilmour wasn’t necessarily known for his fighting ability; however, he was one of the toughest players in Maple Leafs’ history in other ways. Specifically, he was known for his tenacity and his ability to play through pain. Gilmour became a key player in Maple Leafs’ success in the 1990s and was beloved by Maple Leafs fans.
But perhaps the toughest player in franchise history was Jim Dorey.
Who Was Jim Dorey?
Dorey played for the Maple Leafs from 1968 to 1972. He was a member of the organization when they were hugely popular, and he preempted some of the team’s most iconic players as the game became more modern. Darryl Sittler, Borje Salming, and Lanny McDonald were just beginning their time with the Maple Leafs when Dorey was ending his. During that time, Dorey was a reliable defenseman renowned for giving his all on the ice. He was recognized for his physicality and his willingness to block shots and sacrifice his body for the team.
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Dorey was a key part of the teams that reached the playoffs in both 1970 and 1971.
Dorey’s First Game as a Maple Leaf
Dorey was drafted by the Maple Leafs in the fourth round (23rd overall) in the 1964 NHL Amateur Draft. In his first game, he set the NHL single-game penalty record with 48 minutes in the penalty box. That debut came on Oct. 16, 1968, against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Maple Leaf Gardens.
He was 21 years old at the time. Like most young hockey players, skating in his first NHL game was a dream. But his debut turned into a gong show. He took two minor penalties in the first period and added four more penalties in the second. Before…
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