Sunday, June 29, 2008

Eye Of The Tucker

This post can't begin without a tribute to a fellow named Chemmy and his work over at Pension Plan Puppets, and especially, the Darcy Tucker Fan Club. With great respect we would like to voice our support for the decision to keep the name, and our regrets that one of the most passionate and feisty show-stoppers in the game is no longer a MapleLeaf.

Feisty:–adjective, feist·i·er, feist·i·est.
1. full of animation, energy, or courage; spirited; spunky; plucky: The champion is faced with a feisty challenger.
2. ill-tempered; pugnacious.
3. troublesome; difficult

I've been thinking about the future of Darcy Tucker, and I've made a few comments about who I'd like to see him playing with. I then knew my next post would be about Darcy when I saw this NHL transaction:

Tampa Bay: Acquired the rights to LW Gary Roberts and LW Ryan Malone from Pittsburgh for a conditional 2009 draft pick.

My first thought: "does this mean Sir Gary won't be coming to Toronto?"
My second thought: "does this open the door for Darcy to come to Pittsburgh?"

The answer to the first question we'll leave to the Leaf blogophere. The answer to the second question, I sincerely hope, is yes. The only team I want to see Darcy playing for this year is the Penguins. I'm not a Pittsburgh fan, far from it. I'm a MapleLeafs fan and then I'm a hockey fan. But being a Leafs fan means I still cheer for the former Leafs who were among the best to wear and represent the blue and white. I'm still a Gary Roberts fan. I still like Cujo. I cheered for Hal Gill. And I'll always be a fan of Darcy Tucker. I'd like to see his courage and spirit recognized, and I hope he wins a Cup.

I really want the Penguins to see this. It fits so well. By adding Tucker, they essentially replace both Malone and Roberts at the same time. They get a younger, faster, sharper version of Roberts, who can still play Malone's ice-time. Tucker brings the same kind of experience and veteran leadership as Gary and also Malone's intensity, hustle and sacrifice.

For those that think Tucker is "worn out", I say, no way not even close. This was just an off year. There was no heart in the dressing room, no enthusiasm for winning, and nothing, therefore, to play for. Give Tucker a true shot at glory and honour and watch him go. That's his fuel. He's still a top-six forward on any team, and can still be a powerplay sniper. He knows how to finish, and I believe, come playoff time, he can still bang and crash and deliver.

Crosby and Malkin can't both play with George Laraque. Tucker would make a great middleweight body guard for either, though it's Evgeni that I can really see him clicking with. Could've been the spark on the forecheck Malkin needed in the Finals. But I also see Tucker paired up with another Penguin player for an explosive combination: Maxime Talbot.

I never really appreciated Maxime Talbot before this year's playoffs, but I admit, I've become a fan of his work. First of all, it doesn't hurt to have a great playoff beard. Second, he scored a huge goal in the Finals to send Game 5 into overtime. But I was already a fan before that, because I liked his overall style. I liked his energy, the way he seemed to always be encouraging his teammates on the bench, backing them up on the ice, and the way he'd zoom into the offensive zone, like he was Mark Bell looking for Daniel Alfredsson. He bangs, he scraps, he finishes, he antagonizes, and he leads. Basically, he plays like Darcy Tucker. And I think the two of them on the same line would be dyn-O-mite with a capital O.

Finally, I'd like to go on record, and risk credibility, by saying that if the Penguins do acquire Tucker, then they go back to the Finals, except this time, they win it all. I also think that Darcy Tucker hoisting the Cup would be a genuinely compelling moment, full of raw emotion and drama.
So, good luck, #16.
Wishing you the best. Passion. Glory. Honour. We don't forget.


Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

you're right, we don't forget. i think i'd rather see tucker go home to alberta and play for the flames, so he can't burn us in the eastern conference, i do wish him the best. it would be great to see him lift the cup. he's a warrior that deserves it.

Chemmy said...

awww shucks

general borschevsky said...

Hey Chemmy, thanks for dropping by. It's an honour. Tucker is Leafs hockey. That ain't gonna change.
As for Calgary, for sure, a nice homecoming, and he'd be popular, but for Darcy and the Cup, the time is now.

bkblades said...

Before this post, I was more or less content on seeing Tucker go. You proved me otherwise. Thanks for depressing me on this fine cloudy/sunny day.

By the way, Maxime Talbot is also a pretty funny Quebecker. Aside from impersonating Crosby, he's also the star in a local Used Car commercial. Totally outshines Malkin.

general borschevsky said...

Hey bkblades, thanks for your comments. I'd rather cheer you up then depress you but I'm humbled by your compliment all the same. Drop by again anytime!