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By David Amber
Special to ESPN.com
Oct. 13, 2006, 12:33 PM ET

What he lacks in size, Darcy Tucker makes up for in moxie. In this edition of Facing Off, the Maple Leafs forward tells David Amber why he'll drop the gloves with anyone, how he and Michael Peca have buried the hatchet and why he would love to go one-on-one with President Bush.

David Amber: Your dad coached you from age 5 to 14. What was that like for you, being the coach's son?

Darcy Tucker: It was great. He is really knowledgeable about the game, and for me to have a parent figure at the rink helped a lot. After that, I looked at all of my coaches as someone who could help me improve as a player, but also improve as a person. So, having my dad there as my coach early on really made a difference.

Amber: I've read your father was a real disciplinarian. Describe that infamous story when, at age 10, you faked an injury on the ice, and the long ride home afterward.

Tucker: He wasn't happy. He told me he never wanted to me to do that again on the ice. I figured because I scored a few goals in that game, I was pretty good, so I brushed him off. He didn't appreciate that too much, so he told me to get out of the car and walk home in the middle of winter in icy cold Alberta. (laughs)

Amber: And what was that like?

Tucker: I thought he was kidding. Then, when he drove off, I realized he wasn't joking, so I started to walk down the road, and then I started to run. (Laughs.) Once I got home, he told me he never wanted it to happen again. And it didn't.

Amber: You were drafted by Montreal in 1993, spending five seasons with their organization. You are now in your seventh season with the Maple Leafs. How different is it playing for these two historic teams?

Tucker: I don't know if there is a big difference. Both organizations are first class, both have a great winning tradition and both are Canadian cities. So, even though it's a rivalry, they are more similar they you'd think.

Amber: With your first NHL paycheck, you went out a bought a car. What was that like for you?

Tucker: I bought a car, a GMC Yukon, that was great. Also, I helped out my father with some things on his farm. It was a pretty exciting experience to be able to do that. I have a very humble background, so to be able to help out in that way was a neat experience.

Amber: Do you still drive the Yukon? I assume with all the contracts you've signed since then you have upgraded your ride.

Tucker: I'm fortunate here in Toronto to be friends with some guys who own car dealerships, so they help me out quite well. (Laughs.)

Amber: You scored 28 goals last season, more than a lot of "skilled" players. Does it bother you that some players around the league still think of Darcy Tucker as an agitator?

Tucker: Well, perception is everything. People only believe what they believe to be true. I just take it as one of those things that I have to go and prove every night that I am a multidimensional player that can do lots of things.

Amber: One big part of your game has been dropping the gloves when you feel you have to. Any idea how many fights you've had as an NHL player?

Tucker: No. I don't pay attention to that stuff. I just want to help my team win.

Amber: OK, but you should know you've had 75 fights, including the preseason and playoffs.

Tucker: (Laughs.) Really? Wow, that's surprising. That's a lot of fights. I'm one of those guys that won't back down from anybody. I may get my share of lickings, but the No. 1 thing is I'm not going to back down from anybody.

Amber: You're married to Shayne Corson's sister. If you and Shayne got into a fight, who is she going to cheer for?

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