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Domi Happy To Be Back

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs

August 5, 2005

TORONTO (CP) -- In the end, Tie Domi thought with his heart not with his wallet.

And when the Maple Leafs showed they wanted him, the tough guy was happy to re-sign.

""I've been here a long time,"" said Domi, who reportedly had been unhappy with the team's initial offer. ""Change is tough, change is very tough. I just couldn't see myself moving on at the last minute. And John (GM John Ferguson) was nice enough to have a last meeting with me yesterday. Because yesterday morning I really thought I was moving on. It was difficult to swallow. When I saw how much John wanted me, he really stepped up to the plate for me.

""It was not about the money. The money's been good to me for the last 10 years. So I really thought with my heart, not with my wallet.""

Domi, 35, agreed to a reported two-year, $2.5-million US contract with the team with which he's spent the last nine full seasons of his 14-year NHL career.

There were reports Domi had not been happy with the team's reported initial one-year $850,000 offer. He had been slated to make $1.9 million during the lockout.

The 35-year-old right-winger is third on the league's all-time penalty minutes list with 3,406. He trails only Dave (Tiger) Williams (3,966) and Dale Hunter (3,565).

""We value his services,"" said Ferguson.

Domi turned down a more lucrative offer from another team -- three years for $4.5 million US -- to stay with the Leafs, a source said.

Domi has 99 goals and 130 assists in 943 games. The five-foot-10, 215-pound native of Windsor, Ont., spent a little over two years with both the New York Rangers and the Winnipeg Jets before returning to the team that drafted him and broke into the NHL with in 1995.

He had a career-high 29 points in 2002-2003. In his last season, 2003-2004, he had seven goals and 13 assists.

Ferguson said no decision had been made yet on free agent Jason Allison.

Domi also took the opportunity of Friday's news conference to scold the media for criticizing potential additions to the team.

""We want to win and if those guys do come here, we need a positive start.""

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