The ‘92 Jets Toughen Up: Revisiting the Acquisition of Kris King and Tie Domi
Blue Collar Toughness: Made in Manitoba
The following day the city was buzzing about the previous night’s loss on the scoreboard and in the fisticuffs. “I would rather wipe a cougar’s behind with sandpaper than tangle with Joey Kocur”, stated Harry Neale. The most popular thought seemed to be “Why would Eagles fight him, when he had to know he was going to lose”? The response to that question is plain and simple, he had to. Mike Eagles didn’t say to himself before the game, “I’m going to fight Kocur tonight”. The bottom line was that Eagles is a team guy and wasn’t going to let anyone intimidate him or his club, for that matter. The team had said goodbye to the heavyweights like Hartman, Cronin and Donnelly. At the end of the day, there was no one else to do it.
The Jets management knew that they had to address what happened to Eagles by facing the facts: they needed more toughness in the line-up. This was at a time when most teams had three or four guys who were willing to fight, with at least one heavyweight. The Kings had McSorley, the Blackhawks had Grimson, the Leafs had Baumgartner and the Red Wings had Probert. We had Eagles…Dean Kennedy and Igor Ulanov.
It didn’t come the next day, the next weekend or even before Christmas, but on December 28th, 1992 the Winnipeg Jets sent Ed Olczyk to the New York Rangers (ironically enough) for two men who would become local legends and forever change the face of the Jets: Tie Domi and Kris King.