Darcy Tucker for Ryan Hollweg: Maple Leafs Play Fate's Fool

AndrewCorrespondent IOctober 20, 2008

I know this is in the past, but it's been sitting in the back of my head for a while now, and I just thought it'd be something interesting to talk about.

First I'll talk about the Darcy Tucker buyout.

At first, I was ticked off by this decision because Darcy was my favorite player. I liked his grit and his style of play, but as I was told many times, it was time to let him go.

The thing about Darcy was that some nights he'd be the star, but some nights he wouldn't even be seen on the ice. With the Leafs' rebuilding plans, it made some sense to me that he would have to be let go.

Then Ryan Hollweg comes in. I didn't know much about him, but had heard that his play was similar to Tucker's, so I was kind of happy about this.

Little did I know what was going to happen? Well, so far he's only played one regular season game, been suspended twice already, and been in the penalty box way too often. (You can read Tyler's article for a better description of this guy.)

Okay, so we got rid of a guy who actually knows how to play hockey and fight, for a guy that costs the team goals and salary cap space.

Actually, I read on mapleleafs.com a couple of weeks ago that "Hollweg's style makes him a fan favorite." When you see the words "Hollweg,” "fan,” and "favorite" together, you know something's wrong.

Hollweg is not a fan favorite at the moment. You traded a draft pick for this guy, so you should've received a draft pick for him! He just makes the team worse, and if the Leafs keep giving away draft picks for garbage, not even a player who can be a third line winger, they are not headed in a good direction.

Looking at the NHL right now, Hollweg has played one game and has had 15 PIM. Darcy Tucker has played five games, with two points, one goal, one assist, and four PIM. Even just by looking at their past years, Tucker comes out on top.

I guess what I'm really trying to say is that the Leafs threw Tucker away, and actually gave something up for Hollweg (who clearly isn't even worth a bag of pucks). If the Leafs really wanted to add grit to their bench, they should've just kept Tucker. Tucker gave the team points and didn't play dirty.

My last point is that there is a big difference between grit and dirty play.

Grit is what Tucker has. It makes fans at the game get up on their feet and start cheering after a fight or a big hit.

Dirty play (*cough* Hollweg *cough*) is when a player has watched one too many Jackie Chan movies and begins hitting guys from behind on the ice. Fans just roll their eyes at this. In a way, you can kind of say the Leafs traded Darcy Tucker and a fifth round pick (correct me if I'm wrong) for Ryan Hollweg.

I think I said everything I wanted to say. If you think I'm totally wrong and Hollweg is the next guy to take the Leafs to the Cup, feel free to post a comment on that (and see a doctor).