The post position draw for the 81st running of the $800,000 Pattison Canadian International (Grade 1) will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at Woodbine Racetrack with Toronto Maple Leafs alum Darcy Tucker serving as guest drawmaster.
Retired NHL player Darcy Tucker, a fan favourite who played with the Toronto Maple Leafs for nine seasons, will assist with the post position draw at the media conference, which will be held in the New Standardbred Paddock beginning at 12 noon and will be streamed live online at Woodbine.com.
The Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International for horses three years old and up will be contested over 1-1/2 miles on Woodbine’s world-renowned E.P. Taylor Turf Course as the main event amid a stakes-packed racing program set for Saturday, Oct. 13. The race will be broadcast live on TSN2 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Born in Castor, Alta., Tucker was a junior star with the powerful Kamloops Blazers. The feisty youngster helped the club win the Memorial Cup in 1992, 1994 and 1995, and was named to the Canadian Major Junior First All-Star Team in 1994. In 1994 and 1995, he was placed on the Memorial Cup All-Star Team and WHL West First All-Star Team and was named the MVP of the 1995 Memorial Cup.
The industrious forward was chosen 151st overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft. A gold medalist with Canada’s World Junior Team in 1995, Tucker played three games for the club in 1995-96 but spent the bulk of his time with Fredericton of the AHL. After scoring 93 points in 74 games, he was the recipient of the Dudley “Red” Garrett Memorial Award as the league’s top rookie.
Tucker went on to play parts of three seasons in Montreal before being dealt to the Tampa Bay Lightning in January 1998. Upon his arrival with the Bolts, Tucker went on to score 21 goals during the 1998-99 season and played the better part of the 1999-00 season before being dealt to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
During the 2001-02 season, Tucker established, at the time, a career-high in goals (24) and points (59) and continued to be one of the Leafs’ hardest workers. Over the next few seasons, Tucker continued to add grit to the Leafs’ line-up and he again recorded a 20-goal season in 2003-04. After sitting out the entire 2004-05 season due to the NHL lockout, Tucker returned to the Maple Leafs in 2005-06 to record a new career-high in goals (28) and points (61). His career-high point totals with the Maple Leafs would never be matched, however, as his club struggled to find their way back into the NHL playoff picture. Tucker’s sub-par 2007-08 season led to his contract buyout by the Maple Leafs. Days later, Tucker was signed as a free agent by the Colorado Avalanche.
After two seasons in Colorado in which Tucker scored eight and 10 goals, respectively, the gritty winger decided to retire, making the official announcement on October 1, 2010.