Columnists

Buying out Tucker doesn't make sense for Leafs

Darren Dreger
6/11/2008 10:26:25 AM
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You will read a lot about teams contemplating buyouts over the next two weeks as the NHL's first buyout period opens June 15th.

In Toronto, Darcy Tucker is considered a target - which doesn't make sense.

To buy Tucker out, the Maple Leafs would have to pay out two-thirds of his remaining contract value: $9 million … that amounts to a six million dollar buyout and cap hit for 6 years.

Is the threat of a buyout supposed to scare the 33-year-old Tucker, who scored 18 goals last year, into waving his no-trade? His agent, Carlos Sosa says there is no chance of that happening.

The ongoing speculation Tucker will be bought out would severely undercut any leverage the Leafs have, assuming that is, Tucker had a change of heart and would be willing to move.

With 6 million of Toronto's dollars stashed in his pocket, Tucker would have the financial freedom to consider multiple offers he would be sure to receive from managers eager to bring in his grit and experience at a lower cap hit of say, 1.5 to 2 million dollars.

The San Jose Sharks were among the teams who made a strong play for the Tucker at the deadline, so the arrival of Ron Wilson as the Maple Leafs new head coach could change Tucker's stature in the organization.

Wilson acknowledged at his welcome to Toronto press conference that the Maple Leafs may have to take a step back to go ahead.

Darcy Tucker would be way ahead … financially, if rumor turned to reality.

Darren Dreger

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