Former Maple Leaf Tucker looks forward to opportunities

Updated: June 26, 2008, 6:46 PM ET
Associated Press

CLARKSBURG, Ontario -- Darcy Tucker was optimistic Thursday after his buyout from the Toronto Maple Leafs became official.

"I look at it as an opportunity," the 33-year-old told the Barrie Examinerbefore teeing off in the Nationwide Tour's Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic.

"A door is opening for me here and there are teams out there that I think would be thrilled to have me in their lineup."

Sixteen months after signing Tucker to a four-year extension, buying out Tucker's contract will cost the Maple Leafs $1 million a season for the next six seasons, saving them $3 million over the life of the contract.

"Obviously, it's something I wasn't looking forward to, but it's happened," Tucker said. "And my family is obviously sad, because we're going to have to pick up and move from Toronto. It's been our home for eight years."

Tucker had 18 goals and 16 assists in 74 games last season.

"I don't think anybody can question how hard I've worked for this organization or what I've given to this hockey club," Tucker said. "There'll always be something in the pit of my stomach that wasn't accomplished here in Toronto, and that's winning a Stanley Cup, but ... I only have fond memories."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press