Thursday, October 09, 2008

I Thought There Was a Virtue in Always Being Cool

The Leafs may be kicking-off a brand new season in Detroit tonight, but before we move on to the theme of renewal, blank slates and fresh starts (and ultimately loss, hey it's the whole circle of life thing), I want to turn the clock back a few months and ask a rather pointed question: where's the hatred for Darcy Tucker?

You don't have to go far to find criticism of the other Leafs who refused to be traded at the deadline. You don't even have to leave the Barilkosphere, just look here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Mats gets it, McCabe gets it and someone actually woke Raycroft up and told him nap time is now on the Avalanche's bench .

But where's the indignation over Tucker?

I don't see it on the blogs and I have yet to see any circle the dates (January 29, 2009 for those of you keeping score at home) or "will they or won't they boo Tucker?" articles in my local sports pages.

Dude was the lynch pin of the problematic Corson-Green dressing room schism, should be front in centre in the lack of leadership debate, refused a trade at the deadline, refused to waive his NMC in the off-season, refused to help this franchise re-build and finally demanded a buy-out that saddled the Leafs with a cap hit through to 2013.

You read that right: 2-0-1-3. You could get a university degree, finish most professional schools (law, dentistry, medicine) or if you have a baby this season it would be starting school by the time Tucker's pay-out wraps up.

And this from a self-proclaimed team-first guy.

For all of these failings, for how he stuck the Leafs there's nothing but silence...

Doesn't anyone else find that odd?


  1. Anonymous10:01 am

    :D good point. I think Tucker skated by because his last season was such a bust. You outlined a good case for villifying him. January 29th will be official Everybody Hates Darcy Tucker Day at PPP.

  2. Tucker was, for whatever reason, completely asleep last season. And like Rip Van Winkle, when he finally woke up he'd found that he'd aged immensly. Others had gotten better, he had only gotten older.
    Still, Leaf fans should remember Darcy for his fighting spirit and rock'em sock'em energy, and not for one lousy uninspired season.

  3. Anonymous10:29 am

    Very true, Tucker is the only one of the Muskoka 5 that will cost the Leafs going forward. At Least McCabe had the class to waive his NTC when it became obvious he had to go. Tucker had to be a D!&k about it, the houseguest who breaks all your stuff and when he finally is ready to leave asks you for cab fare.

    Screw Tucker

  4. Should I hate Darcy Tucker for doing everything he could to remain a Toronto Maple Leaf? It's a tough, tough question. He leaves a tarnished legacy in terms of that buyout but, man, did that guy ever love being a Maple Leaf.

    If you and I were hockey players, and loved wearing that Maple Leaf sweater more than anything else in the world, would you have exhausted every option in order to keep it on? I'll be honest, I really think I might have done exactly what Tucker did. If that makes me a douche, so be it.

    You raise some great points though, MF, as you always do. And you're absolutely right how the hate simply isn't there for Tucker. God knows that McCabe and Sundin take the brunt of it.

    I guess it goes to show how revered Tucker was in this town, and how fickle we as fans are. We picked on McCabe and hated him for all that he did, but Darcy was one of the worst +/- guys on the team in recent years. He was, straight up, a defensive liability. And, like you say, a divisive force in the room. But he always got a pass.

    I think the fact that he HATED, and I'm sure still hates, Damien Cox, scored him a few points with Leafs fans in this town. Actually, more than a few points. A gazillion points.

    Great post as always, and thanks for the link.


  5. Chemmy

    I actually had to look that up, I'm too old for emoticons...

    General Borschevsky
    This has nothing to do with Tucker's one lousy season, it has everything to do with a guy sticking it to the Leafs. If you're a team guy, put the team first.

    You raise a good point, but if my love for the Leafs was that strong I'd like to think that I'd be a rational guy and waive my NMC. But than again, being rational was never Tucker's forte.

  6. Just an outsider's opinion, but when a guy refuses to waive his NTC it's usually a sign that he really, really likes playing in your town. That's nothing to hate... imagine the reaction if he'd DEMANDED a trade.

    Just a thought.

  7. Tucker was an agitator and they have always appealed to Toronto fans going back to Eddie Shack, Tiger Williams, Brian Spencer, Brad Smith, Tie Domi, etc. All these players were more popular and overvalued because of their approach to the game. So fans still remember Tucker the agitator and not Tucker the malcontent.

  8. Anonymous1:24 pm

    It's true he wanted to be a Leaf and all that, but when it was obvious he wouldn't be a Leaf anymore he and his agent made it clear that the only way the Leafs would get rid of him was through a buyout. They were sticking it to the Leafs come hell or high water as was their right.

    Financially he did better that way as well as poking Fletcher in the eye.

    He didn't do anything evil, just selfish. And selfishly I hope he sucks from now on.

  9. Haha, you're absolutely right, MF. Rational is last word you'd ever hear when playing the Darcy Tucker word association game.

  10. Anonymous2:03 pm

    Ha! I happy to read that I am not alone is being happy that sideshow is no longer with us. I hated this guy even during the good times... enjoy the side show colorado!

  11. Am pleased to report that Tucker was planted hard on his ass in last night's season opener.