Darcy Tucker was in attendance this past December when Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews was announced as a fellow Scotiabank ambassador. Tucker hadn’t had a real chance to become acquainted with the 20-year-old phenom by that point, but took note of his demeanour, describing it as “humble” and “thankful.”
Tucker was most thrilled, however, that Matthews later took to the ice with some of the youth hockey players who had been invited. That’s what resonated in his mind because Tucker, a rough-and-tumble fan favourite during his eight-year tenure with the Leafs, spends plenty of time around young hockey players now that he’s retired.
The 42-year-old father of three coaches his youngest son’s GTHL hockey team and when chatting with him, you can sense the satisfaction he derives from teaching.
Tucker will be doing just that next week when he travels to Corner Brook, N.L., ahead of Scotiabank Hockey Day In Canada. The former winger plans to head to the Rock early to take part in school visits, hockey clinics and other community activities throughout the week, leading up to the Jan. 20 festivities.
“I just enjoy the company of the people,” Tucker says. “Everybody out there is so friendly and accommodating. Anytime you get an opportunity to go out that way, the people are what makes the trip so much fun. I’m going to enjoy it.
“You have lots of hockey fans out there. Lots of young kids who appreciate having the alumni around.”
Sportsnet caught up with Tucker to chat about HDIC, his Battle of Ontario memories, the health issues of brother-in-law and former teammate Shayne Corson, and more.
Why did you initially decide to get involved with Hockey Day in Canada years ago?
I’ve been part of Scotiabank’s Hockey Day in Canada since 2013. I just really believe in Scotiabank’s approach to community hockey. We’ve helped over one million kids now across Canada and we’re looking forward to the next million that we’re going to help out. It’s amazing work that we’ve done in communities across Canada. Lots of different initiatives, including local and community hockey programs here in the GTA.
I have two boys playing minor hockey. It’s very easy for me to be in the rinks around Toronto and see the amount of youth we have playing this great game. Not only here in Toronto but to …read more