Coaches and veteran players always tell rookies two things before games early in their career. The first is to relax and try to enjoy it. The second is to do something, almost anything, to get yourself noticed.
Jim Dorey certainly followed the second piece of advice for his first game at Maple Leaf Gardens on October 16th, 1968. During a wild second period brawl in which he attacked Pittsburgh's Ken Schinkel, Keith McCreary and John Arbour before launching a verbal attack in the direction of referee Art Skov. Dorey was called for nine penalties and kicked out of the game. In total he earned 48 penalty minutes, setting a new NHL pugilistic record.
Dorey certainly got himself noticed, but once he calmed down in the dressing room he began to worry about what consequences his actions would bring. He figured humorless coach Punch Imlach would bury him in the minor leagues forever.
Moments later in walked Leafs legend King Clancy, who was congratulating Dorey with high fives and pats on the back. That momentarily calmed Dorey's nerves, but then Imlach walked in to deliver the moment of truth.
Much to Dorey's surprise, Imlach pulled $100 out of his pocket and told the kid good job and to go out and enjoy the weekend. But his most important piece of advice was to get out of the arena before the reporters came looking for him!
Dorey obviously earned the coach's respect and he was in the big leagues for a long time come.
Dorey's new penalty record certainly caught the attention of the media scribes, too, many of whom were very critical. But soon enough the record would be beaten. Pittsburgh's Russ Anderson accumulated 51 minutes in one particular game. Then there was an infamous game between Philadelphia and Los Angeles in 1979. Frank Bathe upped the record to 55 minutes, only to be outdone by the Kings Randy Holt on the opposite end of the ice. Holt was assessed one minor, three majors, two 10 minute misconducts and three game misconducts for a total charge of 67 penalty minutes!