Midseason Grade: D
Final Grade: D+
Joined Team: Signed as a free agent on July 1st, 2008.
MHH Nicknames: ShamWow, The Douch Who Stole Christmas [Ed note: really?]
- 4th (26)
- 3rd (22)
- 2nd (11)
- 1st (4)
- LW (42)
- RW (21)
- McLeod (8)
- Wolski (6)
- Stewart (4)
- McCormick (2)
- Laperriere (1)
- Guite (19)
- Arnason (13)
- Sakic (6)
- Hensick (5)
- Willsie (5)
- Gliardi (4)
- McCormick (3)
- Wolski (3)
- Dupuis (3)
- Laperriere (2)
- Laperriere (10)
- Svatos (7)
- McCormick (6)
- Stewart (6)
- Hejduk (4)
- Willsie (4)
- Dupuis (2)
- Jones (2)
- Hensick (1)
- TOT 14:06 (9th)
- EV 12:24 (7th)
- PK :06 (12th)
- PP 1:36 (7th)
*Rank is based on total minutes, not average per game.
Best Month: November (3 goals in 10 games)
Career Highlights: Tuckers 16 points and 67 penalty minutes were both career lows.
Report: He was destined for failure.
Darcy Tucker would have had to have had a big season to overcome all the naysayers (myself included) who criticized his signing this summer. If I could beat the dead horse one more time, the Avalanche already had a significant amount of grit on the roster. If anything, they needed some speed. Tucker is not fast. Had the Avalanche signed Tucker to a reasonable deal - say, $800k - it might have raised some eyebrows, but wouldn't have invoked a great deal of ire.
Instead, Tucker was given $2.25 million per year - double the contract of Ian Laperriere. Seriously. This for a player in sharp decline (his PPG over the last three seasons: .77, .46, .25) and one who was bought out by the Toronto Maple Leafs. To be sure, the gross overpayment for Tucker's services are a huge part of why his season was such a failure and why his grade is so low.
Really, though, it's not like he was all that good at any price. He did do some hitting (4th in hits, just 1 less than Lappy), but that was about it. Actually, his small stature and slow foot speed meant that he either missed a lot of checks or just bounced off the guy and fell to the ice. And Tucker being Tucker, he'd often take that opportunity to lay "stunned" on the ice for a few minutes, just in case the ref wanted to call a penalty or something. It never worked.
Other than the hitting, there was little to rave about. He didn't play a lick of defense and the 6-time 20-goal scorer botched more developing scoring chances than I cared to count. Tucker has a rep as a feisty agitator, but he generally appeared to be disinclined to partake in any of the rough stuff. He had just 3 fights, and one of those was with Patrice Brisebois! Sadly, it was not uncommon to see Tucker look the other way when someone was starting something with one of his teammate, such as the time Chris Stewart had to push Tucker out of the way to come to the defense of one of his teammates.
I did think that Tucker played better late in the year - one of the few guys who actually picked up his game at the tail end of the season from hell. Overall, though, this was a dud.
Fun Fact: Tucker was actually quite good against NW teams - 8pts in 19 divisional games vs 8pts in 44 non-divisional games.
The Darcy Tucker Drinking Game: Drink when Darcy Tucker falls down when trying to make a hit. Drunk potential: Moderate
What I Said Last Year: "I don't like Darcy Tucker."
2008 Salary (and Cap Number): $2.2M ($2.25)
2009-2010 Status: Tucker is under contract for one more season at a $2.25 million cap hit. A buyout would save about $1.5 million next year but would cost $750,000 the following year.
Outlook for 2009: I don't have any desire to watch Tucker in a unipron next year. I just don't think he has anything left in the tank (mentally and physically). He was a shell of his former self, and I doubt another year of wear and tear is going to make him better.
I think a buyout of Tucker's contract is plausible (if I was in charge, that's what I'd do). The Avalanche could save cap room by waiving him and sending him to the AHL, but with the team's financial situation being what it is, that's probably less likely. Unfortunately, the final option - just ride out the final year of the deal - is the most likely option. At least Tyler Arnason won't be around so the pair can create 2/3 of the worst line ever. We hope...
Next Up: Brian Willsie
What should be done with Tucker?
Let him play out the contract (34 votes)
Buy him out (75 votes)
Send him to Lake Erie (81 votes)
190 total votes