Tucker prepared for double move?

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

Darcy Tucker is packing up.

Tucker and his family are on the verge of taking residence in a new Toronto home the veteran winger recently had built.

But that might not be his only move.

Come Sunday, NHL teams officially will be allowed to begin buying out players, with Tucker believed to be a leading candidate on the Maple Leafs roster to meet that fate.

After spending the past eight-plus seasons in blue and white, even Tucker realizes his days in Toronto might be numbered.

"To be honest, whatever happens happens," Tucker said yesterday. "I'm not really concerned about June 15 (the opening of the buyout period). I'm more concerned about June 19, the day we are moving out of this place and into the new one."

Amid speculation that Tucker's potential buyout already has been discussed at the board level of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., the Leafs are poised to introduce former San Jose Sharks bench boss Ron Wilson as their new coach. Tucker has no idea if Wilson will have a say as to whether he stays or goes.

"I'm not really sure," Tucker said. "I don't really know how the process works.

"I don't know much about (Wilson) other than his teams play hard every time we've faced one of them."

Listening to him talk, Tucker sounds like a man who is prepared to head elsewhere should the Leafs opt to cut him loose. He understandably does not want to leave a city he calls home but knows he does not have much say in the matter.

"If they don't think I'm part of the future and it is time to move on, I understand the process," he said. "If they do, then I'll be part of the solution. Either way I'm not worried. I know I will be playing hockey somewhere come the fall."

General manager Cliff Fletcher said last month that any buyouts likely would not occur until after the NHL entry draft, June 20-21 in Ottawa.

Tucker was one of a handful of Leafs who refused to waive the no-trade clause in his contract prior to the Feb. 26 trade deadline, causing critics to refer to the group, which included Tucker, Pavel Kubina, Tomas Kaberle, Jason Blake and Bryan McCabe, as "The Muskoka Five."

Tucker has three years remaining on the four-year contract extension he signed in February 2007, a deal worth about $3 million US a season.

"I love Toronto but if I have to go elsewhere, well, how many guys have the fortune to play in a hockey market like this for almost nine years?" he said. "Either way, I'll always be back here to live. Toronto is home for my family and I."


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