Domi wants to remain a Leaf

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:58 AM ET

Tie Domi didn't want to hear about the possibility of ending his career in any jersey other than Maple Leaf blue and white.

Nor was he in any mood to discuss the possibility of retirement should he and the Maple Leafs be unable to come to an agreement on a new deal once NHL hockey resumes.

In fact, an upbeat Domi became irritated yesterday when it was pointed out by reporters that he likely will be an unrestricted free agent under a new collective bargaining agreement, one which is being hammered out by players and owners.

"That's an unfair question," Domi said when asked if he would contemplate hanging up the blades if he could not come to terms with the Leafs. "It's not a consideration. It hasn't crossed my mind. I could not imagine myself playing anywhere else. We still have unfinished business here. We owe it to the city to bring a (Stanley Cup championship) here.

"I'm totally prepared to negotiate with the Leafs. At the end of the day, I'm a 35-year-old who still has a lot of fuel left in the tank. I'm not moving my family."

Would he accept a pay cut in order to remain in Toronto?

"With the 24% rollback in salaries, it'll happen anyway," Domi said. "Unfortunately it's turned out to be a 124% (cut) because we didn't get paid this year. Everyone has to make sacrifices, but it's worth it to bring something here that the city hasn't won since 1967."

Don't expect the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators, Carolina Hurricanes or Los Angeles Kings to come knocking at Domi's door with offers, especially after he ripped into the owners of those respective teams.

Perturbed at the abuse thrown at the Leafs' Larry Tanenbaum by a number of his fellow owners during a board of governors meeting in March, Domi questions the motivation of certain individuals at the helm of NHL teams.

"To have some of these owners who don't really care about the game try to be heroes, well, this is not about small markets," Domi said. "Look at Kevin Lowe in Edmonton. He already has 10 players signed for just $10 million (US).

"A guy like (Jeremy) Jacobs, he has a jewel in the U.S. (the Bruins) and doesn't care about making his team better. Same as the guy in Chicago, (Bill Wirtz). He doesn't even show their (home) games on TV."

Domi pointed out that Carolina's Peter Karmanos was "one of the guys who started this whole thing" by signing Sergei Fedorov, then with the Detroit Red Wings, to an offer sheet in 1998.

Through it all, Domi is optimistic about the progress made in negotiations.

"I'm excited," Domi said. "We have to get the game back on the ice."


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