Maple Leafs to buy out Darcy Tucker: report

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Darcy Tucker reportedly was told Tuesday by interim GM Cliff Fletcher that he'll be bought out.

Forward Darcy Tucker reportedly has played his final game for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Tucker, 33, was told Tuesday by Maple Leafs interim general manager Cliff Fletcher that he will be bought out and become an unrestricted free agent.

"We called Darcy, we had a talk and said we would begin the process of buying him out," Fletcher told the Toronto Star.

"Darcy is a real professional. He anticipated something was coming."

Tucker has three years and $9 million US remaining on the contract extension he signed Feb. 27, 2007.

But the Maple Leafs can buy him out for two-thirds, or $6 million US, over the next six years.

"It is what it is," Carlos Sosa, Tucker's agent, told the Canadian Press.

"We have been ready for this for a while. It is a business."

Tucker negotiated a no-movement clause in his contract, making him tough for Toronto to trade.

Moreover, he opted not to be placed on waivers like backup goaltender Andrew Raycroft and forward Kyle Wellwood.

"We put them on waivers," Fletcher said. "We will take it one step at a time and we will see what happens tomorrow [Wednesday]."

Tucker posted 18 goals and 16 assists for 34 points in 74 games last season, his eighth with Toronto.

Tucker, one of the NHL's feistier forwards, has compiled 197 goals and 436 points in 813 games since he was drafted in the sixth round (151st overall) by the Montreal Canadiens in 1993.

The native of Castor, Alta., was traded by Montreal, with Stephane Richer and David Wilkie, to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Patrick Poulin, Mick Vukota and Igor Ulanov on Jan. 15, 1998.

Tucker was later peddled to Toronto with a fourth-round draft pick and future considerations for Mike Johnson, Marek Posmyk, fifth- and sixth-round picks and future considerations on Feb. 9, 2000.

With files from the Canadian Press