Making the case for Alex Tanguay
First off, let’s make a couple of assumptions.
One — that Flames general manager Darryl Sutter, still so in love with his core, won’t rock a blockbuster in the coming weeks. So no Vinny Lecavalier. No Nathan Horton. No Jeff Carter. No Eric Staal.
Two — that Alex Tanguay would return to a team that he, well, couldn’t wait to leave.
OK now, here’s the thing: the Flames are dying for a top-six forward.
Without playing big-ball — and wheeling away one of the cornerstone heroes — Sutter’s options are limited. Tanguay may be one. This is a fellow playing for a reasonable contract (one year worth $2.5 million US — more than half done, of course) with a healthy dash of skill.
Not only is Sutter familiar with Tanguay — a clincher in many of the deals the Jolly Rancher triggers — a play-making left-winger is precisely what the Flames need.
Tanguay’s return did come up during this week’s Calgary Herald live chat. Immediately, his type was derided as being a “wet noodle.” The thing is? The Flames could use a wet noodle or two. (They’ve already cornered the market on gritty checkers at the National and American league levels.) Soft? Why, yes, he is. Capable of setting the table? Yes.
* Boost the shrivelling power play.
* Lend a hand to the up-and-down Jarome Iginla. (Can you imagine the Flames captain if he received two or three flat passes in a single game? He’d weep.) Not to mention Olli Jokinen. Both he and Iginla are shooters. Surely, there’s room for a passer, no?
In Tanguay, the Flames would also be getting a supremely motivated individual. Remember, his recent stab at unrestricted free-agency didn’t exactly light the league a-fire. He ended up taking what he could get — a one-year deal . . . at half of his previous salary . . . with a team that’s in disarray.