Friday, October 1, 2010
Darcy Tucker retires after 14 seasons
By Pierre LeBrun
Darcy Tucker has retired after 14 NHL seasons, and he's turning his attention to the sports agents business.
"It's something I really look forward to getting into," Tucker told ESPN.com Friday.
The 35-year-old forward had 24 points (10 goals, 14 assists) in 71 games with the Colorado Avalanche last season. He was an unrestricted free agent this summer and unable to catch on with a new club.
"I know if I would have waited and hung around a bit longer I would have got something eventually but I don't think it would have really piqued my interest too much," Tucker said. "I'm not frustrated at all. Sometimes players maybe wait too long and try to find an opportunity that's not really there."
Tucker has a wife and three kids and believed it was time to put them ahead of his career. No more bouncing around.
"Sometimes you have to think about others than yourself and my family is important to me," he said.
"I'm going to use this time wisely to get reconnected with my family."
Tucker had 476 points (215-261) in 947 career regular-season games with Montreal, Tampa Bay, Toronto and Colorado.
He also had 1,410 penalty minutes, a testimony to the gritty game he played despite his 5-foot-10, 178-pound stature. Tucker, with a reputation as an agitator, wasn't scared to drop the gloves and protect a teammate.
His best offensive season came in 2005-06 in Toronto, where Tucker played the best hockey of his career. That season he posted 28 goals and 61 points in 74 games. He said he feels fortunate to have played for both Original Six franchises in his native Canada.
"Absolutely," said Tucker, who is from Castor, Alberta. "Let's not blow it out of proportion . . . I wasn't the most skilled and I wasn't the biggest guy but I made the most out of what I had I think."
Tucker has teamed up with his longtime agent, Carlos Sosa, to form a new player agency, Turning Point Sports Management, where Tucker will help mentor young recruits.
"I enjoyed last year with the young guys in Colorado," Tucker said. "I really enjoyed being a mentor. I saw the benefits of treating young guys with respect and helping them out. So that really piqued my interest. I'm really excited."
Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for ESPN.com.