Tiger Williams


Don’t let his statistics as the NHL’s all-time leader in penalty minutes (3,971) fool you … Dave (Tiger) Williams could also be an offensive force. Want proof? Well, in 962 NHL regular-season games over 14 seasons from 1974-88 with Toronto, Vancouver, Detroit, Los Angeles and Hartford, Williams scored 241 goals and 272 assists for 513 points. Imagine what his offensive totals might have been had he not also established himself as one of the fiercest enforcers ever to lace up skates. Born in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Williams provided his total game and commitment to team with the Swift Current Broncos, including being a pivotal mentor for a future NHL star in Bryan Trottier. Selected in the second round (31st overall) by the Maple Leafs in 1974, Williams joined Toronto during the 1974-75 season and instantly transformed the club into a much tougher war-ready opponent for the Philadelphia Flyers – better known as the Broad Street Bullies. Williams led the NHL in penalty minutes twice with the Leafs with totals of 338 in 1976-77 and 298 in 1978-79. He topped the NHL in penalty minutes once more in 1980-81 as a Canuck with 343 which occurred in a season where he set a personal high in goals (35) and points (62) while also representing Vancouver in the NHL All-Star Game. Forever known for donning No. 22, he ranks as one of the mostbeloved Leafs of all-time. Leafs Nation was fortunate that the player who inherited his jersey in the swap with Vancouver turned out to be Rick Vaive. Williams wore his heart on his sleeve throughout his NHL career and while we remember his many epic battles and trips to the penalty box, so, too we recall his memorable goal celebrations … the Tiger Shuffle and riding his stick all the way back to centre ice!