Maple Leafs to buy out Tucker; Raycroft, Wellwood placed on waivers
Maple Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher informed Tucker of the decision on Tuesday. The player's agent, Carlos Sosa, told The Canadian Press the team would make the move official Wednesday, and Tucker would be an unrestricted free agent 24 hours later.
"We've been ready for this for a while. It is a business," Sosa said.
Tucker, a 12-year veteran, has three years left on his contract and will be owed two-thirds of it -- or $6 million -- paid back over a six-year term by the Leafs. He signed a four-year extension with the team in February 2007 and had 18 goals and 34 points last season.
Wellwood had 21 points and a minus-12 rating in 59 games last season while earning $950,000 in the last year of his contract. If he goes unclaimed on waivers, it's expected the Leafs will not tender him a qualifying offer, which will make him an unrestricted free agent July 1.
Raycroft appeared in only 19 games last season after losing his starting job to Vesa Toskala. Raycroft went 2-9-5 with a 3.92 goals-against average and .876 save percentage. He earned $2 million and has a year left on his deal at $2.2 million.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press