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Toronto Maple Leafs

Comparing Tucker to Mayers

On Tuesday, word came out that the Leafs were going to buyout Darcy Tucker. While the move was not unexpected (it had been rumored for months), it makes me wonder why on earth the Leafs acquired Jamal Mayers from the Blues last week.

First off, acquiring Mayers cost the Leafs a 2008 third round draft pick (70th overall) in a deep draft year. If the Leafs are looking to clean their slate and rebuild, then why acquire Mayers? If the team wanted a gritty 33 year old veteran forward, then why didn’t they just keep their very own Tucker? Both players are the exact same age, and in fact, Tucker is the far more talented offensive player. He has scored 20+ goals in three of his past seasons. While Mayers has never scored more than 15 goals in an NHL season.

Of course some people may be saying, “Mayers makes $1.4 million this season and next. That is far cheaper than Tucker’s $3 million for the next three seaons.” However, if you look at the numbers more closely, buying out Tucker will cost the Leafs $1 million against the cap for the next six seasons. So, if you were to say that Mayers theoretically replaced Tucker, then Mayers salary would be $1 million + $1.4 million=$2.4 million for the next two seasons.

Now, I’m not saying that the Leafs acquired Mayers strictly to replace Tucker. What I am saying is that they basically dumped superior production from Tucker for inferior production from Mayers. The difference between the two in theory is $0.6 million and Tucker’s offensive production should more than make up for that. Never mind the fact that the Leafs gave up a valuable asset (3rd round pick) in order to acquire Mayers in the first place.

It says here that the Leafs would have been better off keeping Tucker and their 3rd round pick on the roster instead of buying out the veteran Leaf forward and trading with the Blues.

For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.