Leafs About to Re-sign Tucker
According to the Toronto Star, the Toronto Maple Leafs and forward Darcy Tucker are close to a new multi-year deal
The deal appears to be for 3 years at $3 million per season with a possibility for a 4th. There also appears to be a no-trade clause.
This signing at these terms is indeed far better than expected for the Leafs. With the recent signing of Shane Doan in Phoenix to a big multi-million dollar deal and the talk of Ryan Smyth in Edmonton asking for roughly $5 million, a player of similar ilk like Tucker could have demanded the same in the summer.
But getting this done early, at a very cheap price, without it being for very long term would be an excellent move by the Leafs. If not signed, Tucker indeed would command greater dollars in the open market where a likely bidding war could ensue which could have taken the Leafs effectively out of the running for his services.
Instead the will get Tucker at a reasonable price. Tucker will double his earnings, but the deal will not cripple Toronto’s Salary Cap for the near future. If he continues his ability to play with his heart on his sleeve and chip in 25-30 goals with his powerplay prowess, it will be a fair deal for both sides.
With the way things have gone on so far leading up to the trade deadline, Tucker indeed would have fetched a great deal if moved. While that is a bit of an opportunity lost, it is much easier to swallow if the terms of the new contract are indeed what the Toronto Star has speculated.
With about 30 hours remaining until the trade deadline it will be interesting to see what else John Ferguson has up his sleeve. The team is counting on the 4 regulars, Tucker, Michael Peca, Kyle Wellwood and Pavel Kubina, to return by the playoffs to help them in the spring, they need to get there first. Therefore Ferguson should definitely try to add some help.
The grocery list hasnt changed:
a) a scoring winger for Sundin
b) someone who can score in the shootout
c) Grit up front
It is unlikely the team will make a huge splash like the Thrashers have, but players such as Jamal Mayers have been on the Leafs radar to add depth. Lets hope the team does not deplete themselves in the process if they choose to add bit parts to the roster.
Ferguson has not yet added a warm body to the current lineup, but if he gets Tucker signed at that price, that will already be a job well done regardless if anyone else gets added by Tuesday.