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News: St. Petersburg Times 3/31/98

Tucker Near Agreement To 4-Year Deal
By Tom Jones

Darcy Tucker says the Lightning will make the playoffs next season. He says it as if you can take it to the bank.
And if the Lightning does make it, Tucker will take it to the bank. Tucker and the Lightning are down to final details of a deal that would keep the pesky center under contract for the next four seasons.
General manager Phil Esposito said he thinks the sides had an agreement in principle, minus a few minor items.
The contract, which could triple his salary from about $225,000 a year to nearly $700,000, would be loaded with incentives but none would kick in until the Lightning made the playoffs.
Tucker, the third-lowest-paid player in the NHL, had little comment Monday about the negotioations, and his agent, Carlos Sosa, spent most of the day in bed with a flu bug that has bitten several players. Sosa met with Tucker over the weekend in Montreal.
Esposito was confident Tucker would sign within days. "I think we've just about agreed," Esposito said. "I faxed him a contract with the numbers we talked about, and we'll see."

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