Tucker, Sittler hope Leafs can 'regroup' over the summer
Published Tuesday, April 8, 2014 9:51AM EDT
Retired Toronto Maple Leafs players Darryl Sittler and Darcy Tucker are looking towards the summer as a chance to cure whatever's ailing their former team.
A break from the NHL season will give the Toronto team the chance to "regroup," Sittler, 64, and Tucker, 39, told CTV's Canada AM on Tuesday.
As the Leafs prepare for pivotal games that will decide their playoff fate, former left winger Tucker said he's already looking ahead to the end of the season.
"They had a good run at the start of the season," Tucker said, but injuries put the team in a "tailspin." Goaltender Jonathan Bernier has been scratched from the team's roster twice due to a groin injury, and forward Joffrey Lupul will miss the rest of the season for knee surgery.
"Hopefully over the summer, they can make some changes... and get back in the playoffs (next year) because we all want to see playoff hockey in Canada," Tucker said.
Sittler, a former Leafs captain who is now involved in the team's marketing and alumni relations, also predicted some changes in the summer.
"I work for the Leafs organization. We're obviously disappointed in the little tailspin here. We've got to regroup in the summer time and add some pieces to it and try to find out what the problems are but we've got a good management team and I'm sure they'll figure it out."
Leafs alumni giving back
Both players appeared on Canada AM to discuss the upcoming ninth annual Scotiabank Baycrest Pro-Am tournament, which takes place from May 1 to 3. To date, the charity tournament has raised more than $23 million.
The tournament partners hockey alumni with amateur players in a program that lets ex-NHL elite give back while "doing things that we don't get to do anymore," Tucker said.
"I think a lot of those guys skate circles around me, but we go out there and have a great time."
Sittler joined the Leafs as an eighth round draft pick in 1970, became the team captain in 1975, then left to play for the Philadelphia Flyers in 1982. He was traded to the Detroit Red Wings in 1984 before retiring in 1985. He returned to the Leafs' organization in 1991 as a community representative.
Tucker transferred to Toronto from the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1998, and played with Leafs until 2008. He was traded to the Colorado Avalanche, where he played until 2010.