Wednesday, June 25

Darcy Tucker: Always a Maple Leaf

This is my third attempt in writing this post about Darcy Tucker being bought out by Cliff Fletcher. The third go at trying to accurately get all of my feelings together about one of the all-time great Leafs, and one of the all-time great hockey players.

I don't necessarily mean that Darcy is all-time HHOF great. I mean, when you think about what characteristics make a hockey player great, it's those qualities that make us lucky to follow hockey over anything else. Things like strength, passion, courage, determination and will. Things you wish you had more of. Darcy Tucker has them in spades.

This is Darcy at a practice. You know when the last time you ever worked this hard? Never. Darcy is why we love hockey. Darcy is why we hate the Ottawa Senators. For every action, there is an opposite reaction. Darcy exists as the opposite reaction to the Senators; to mock and show up everything that team stands for.

Darcy is the ultimate teammate. You hear about "warriors", and who some stupid broadcaster would "want to go into battle with". Most of those names are complete bullshit. Darcy Tucker IS that guy. Remember this?:

This is another study in opposites. Darcy and Sean Avery. Whatever Avery said to Blake on that line doesn't matter. We all know what levels Avery stoops to. What does matter is how Darcy stood up for Blake. This is a moment that makes you proud to be a Leaf. If we never won, and had heart like this, that would be fine with me. I'd rather that, than win the other way with guys like Avery. Any day.

No one was more proud to be a Toronto Maple Leaf. No one cares about the crest like he does. The Muskoka 5? Never once did I question Darcy's integrity in refusing to waive his NTC. He wanted to stay and win as a Leaf, and nothing else would do.

We've all spoken a lot in the past couple of days about other players who some of us can easily do without, while others disagree. Bring up any number of players, even Mats, and you'll get a very mixed bag of reactions. Not so with Darcy. Every response I've heard and read so far about the buyout is one of shock and extreme disappointment. NO ONE wants this to happen. How many players can you say that of?

My friend Chemmy, who writes the great Darcy Tucker Fan Club, not that I know what he's gonna do, but I urge him to not change the name of his blog. It's as meaningful a name with Darcy as a Leaf as it is without him.

Please leave your favorite Tucker moment in the comments section. Mine is the Avery confrontation, followed closely by murdering Sami Kapenen in the playoffs. The most incredible hit ever.

So I want to say thank you to Darcy, for everything he's done for the Leafs. For everything he's meant to us as Leafs fans, and as hockey people.


general borschevsky said...

Hey Greener. Kinda sad. I think that picture you posted of Kyle really did him in. As for Tucker:
"I can't guarantee we're going to make the playoffs this year... The only thing I can guarantee is this team will not accept defeat. If they go down, they'll go down swinging. They'll compete hard every night." --Wilson, June 10/08.
I desrcibe Tucker as someone who competes hard every night, who doesn't accept defeat, and if he goes down, he goes down swinging (and usually takes someone with him). So, I guess I don't really understand this move...

Chemmy said...

I feel the same way about writing and rewriting the post Greener. I think I'm going to throw up some Tucker Youtube highlights as the FTB.

The DTFC isn't going anywhere.

eyebleaf said...

excellent post Greener. i'm with you, in my eyes as well, Darcy will always be a Toronto Maple Leaf...

my favourite tucker memory would have to be a playoff goal he scored against the new jersey devils back in 2001, i think...he was so pumped up...dude lived for the playoffs...

i enjoyed the season he played with his brother-in-law corson along with mogilny.

of course, that hit on kapanen stands out. as does the jumpage into the senators bench.

tucker for life. he will be missed.

Down Goes Brown said...

Unfortunately I think this is a case where the Leafs need change for the sake of change. Tucker had been here so long and was such a prominent guy in the dressing room that it would have been tough to bring him back and still call it the dawn of a new era. Doesn't mean I have to like it, though.

As for favorite moment: has to be the Senator bench dive.

Mike said...

Loved Tucker, but he has been getting pretty useless for a couple of years. No 5 on 5 game, much less passion, hasn't stood up for teammates as much (Avery-Blake notwithstanding). That being said i don't think it makes economic sense to buy him out, I would have kept him for this year at least to see if he could turn it around. Fletcher seems to be getting rid of whoever he can without getting any return. Tank nation is running the ship and I don't like it.

Jaredoflondon said...

Tucker will be missed, he was my favourite Leaf and last year changed nothing. I think the change will be good for him, and am unsure how it will affect the Leafs. I hope he can come back one day.
Best Tucker moment? When he crushed Chara and then proceeded to take on the entire Bruins team.
Followed closely by the Anti-Senator Tucker ICMBM

more green said...

I'm with Jared. When he nailed that oversized dinosaur Chara. I hate that giant oaf.

Moose said...

I look forward to Zack Stortini fighting him 6 times a year after Tucker signs for the Flames next week.

itchit said...

favorite Tucker moment: -Tucker destroying Luke Richardson (as a flyer?) in a fight. Richardson dwarfed Tucker in height and weight but Tucker fed him his lunch.
I always felt the ref's had it in for Tucker because off his diving penalties and his chirping at them with the "here's johnny!" Nicholson eyes. Maybe the leafs will get a few more breaks now (looking for a silver lining).
All the female Leaf fans now need to find a new heart-throb.

Loser Domi said...


The Avery thing was awesome to watch (no stepping over the line!), plus his general psycho eyes.

/reason #76 to invest in a flask

Jaredoflondon said...

Thats why I have two flasks, one for when the Leafs do something good (IE early 2000 playoff runs) and a cannon of one for when they do something bad (IE the rest of the time).

Right now its half full of rye, half full of dispair.

Heather said...

You can't replace quintessence.