Dave 'Tiger' Williams was proud to join the Toronto Maple Leafs when selected with the 31st overall pick at the 1974 Amateur Draft. After all, he would soon be joining many new team members that he admired from the 1967 Stanley Cup winning club. Williams wasn't about to the let opportunity slip.
Born in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Williams made his Leafs debut on January 7, 1975 with Hall of Famers Red Kelly coaching behind the bench and Dave Keon as team captain. The spirited left-winger impressed by scoring 10 goals and collecting a team-high 187 penalty minutes in 42 games in 1974-75. The rookie appeared in all seven games for Toronto during the 1975 postseason and registered four points while leading the team's penalty minute parade with 25. Williams was an integral member of a formidable Leafs team in the latter half of the '70s—the club qualified for the playoffs and advanced beyond the first round in each of his first five seasons with 'Tiger' leading Toronto in penalty minutes each spring. He is the franchise's all-time playoffs leader with 240 penalty minutes and he holds the two highest marks for PIM's in a postseason (75 in 1976 and 63 in 1978).
Williams scored 109 goals and added 132 assists for 241 points in 407 regular season games for the Blue and White. He paced the team in penalty minutes during each regular season from 1974-75 to 1979-80 and he trails only Tie Domi on the club's all-time penalty minute chart with 1,670. Williams owns the team's career penalty minute record for left-wingers and he's the only Leaf to hit the 300 penalty minute mark twice (1976-77 and 1977-78). Williams led the league in penalty minutes in three separate seasons including two with Toronto. A fan favourite, Williams was an endearing player during an exciting era in Leafs histroy. A two-time 20-goal man for Toronto, the talented enforcer recorded no fewer than 18 goals in five straight campaigns while amassing an average of 278 minutes in the penalty box over parts of six seasons at the corner of Church and Carlton Streets.
Williams was traded to Vancouver along with Jerry Butler in exchange for Rick Vaive and Bill Derlago on February 18, 1980 in a highly-publicized deal. He also played for Detroit, Los Angeles and Hartford before retiring in 1988 after 14 seasons as the NHL's all-time penalty minute king with 4,421 including playoffs.