All-Blogs.net directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Tucker available after Leafs buyout

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tucker available after Leafs buyout


According to TSN the Toronto Maple Leafs will buy out Darcy Tucker:

Maple Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher alerted Tucker of Toronto's intention to buy him out on Tuesday afternoon.

"The decision is always difficult when you are dealing with a good person. We wish him well.". Fletcher told TSN.

"Its a business, Darcy knows that," Tucker's agent Carlos Sosa told TSN.

"Whether this decision by the Maple Leafs is good business or bad business.only time will tell."

"We've been prepared for everything and Darcy and his family are ready to move on," Sosa added.

Tucker has 3 years remaining on his contract and Toronto will be on the hook for two-thirds, or 6 million dollars paid over a six year term. Tucker signed a four-year contract extension with the club back in February of 2007.

Will the Jackets be interested?

Tucker is 33 who notched 18g, 16a for 34 points last year. He also finished a -18 with 100 PIMs. The previous two years he had 43p and 61p respectively. He's played in 74, 56 and 74 games.

Sportsnet's take:

Assets
Always comes to play and forechecks well. Provides an energy boost for his team every shift and has a decent set of hands. Is absolutely fearless.

Flaws
Has suspect skating ability, which has prevented him from becoming an all-star at the NHL level. His agitating qualities can at times hurt his own team.

Career potential
Third line winger.


Let me be the first to say that I love Darcy Tucker. I love the way he plays. I love his character. I love his competitiveness. He makes your team harder to play against.

Unfortunately his game appears to be on the decline. He's suited best as a 3rd line winger at this point in career. A position that we are overflowing with.

I wouldn't completely rule him out though, especially if the Jackets strike out on a guy like Ryan Malone. Tucker is the kind of player that would fit like a glove under Hitch but he isn't the play making center or top 6 wing we desperately need so I don't see him as a priority.

Tucker will find a home and pretty quickly I bet. Teams love to add players like this to their lineup.

If Columbus were interested I think he might be as well. Columbus isn't far from Toronto and depending on what the Jackets do in free agency he may look at his situation here similar to what a guy like Peca did last year -- a chance for him to rejunivate his career.

He was scheduled to make 3 mil each of the next 3 years. Depending on how desperate teams get he may find an offer similar to that. I don't think the Jackets would pony up that kind of dough however.

The Leafs are really making some moves. First the Mayers trade - which now with the Tucker buyout makes more sense. Then the Sundin situation with Montreal granted rights to negotiate. Next up was Wellwood and Raycroft put on waivers. Now the Tucker buyout. With the salary they are moving out they could be players once again on the free agent market.

Discuss - any interest in Tucker out there?

-LTL

5 comments:

Rick said...

This could work to our advabtage. Same situation as Peca last year, with proven forchecking abilities. I think he would fit it nicely 3rd/4th line.

Matt said...

I'd take him. If nothing else he's one more guy that an opposing team -has- to key on when he's on the ice, and with luck that could create breathing room for the other lines.

I could see us taking a look at Wellwood for the same reason, potentially. Put him into boot camp with Barry Brennan and get him playing some Hitch Hockey...who knows?

There's a lot of strange things afoot at the Circle K. I suspect we're in for a very odd next few weeks for the whole NHL with all these buyouts, waives, and moves.

JF said...

Well J, it's a great day for you, -- you finally have a shot at getting your Tucker-toy. Try not to pull a muscle, but I'd say, "sign him."

Douglas said...

LTL, maybe I'm not too familiar with the buy-out process here... but why would Toronto buy him out instead of try to trade him? Even if he has an NTC, they could get a list of a few teams he'd like to go to... why pay millions instead of even picking up a 7th round pick or somethign???

Is it just a sign of completely failed negotiations and bad blood???

LTL said...

Douglas,

Good question.

I actually read that he had a "No Movement Clause".

The difference between that and a "No Trade Clause" is that Toronto couldn't put him on waivers and they coudn't demote him to the AHL.

So their only option was to buy him out or keep him.

J/F - you know I want my "Tucker Toy"....at a reasonable cost of course!

-LTL