Choose Your Own Adventure: Alex Tanguay

Jonathan Willis
July 31 2009 06:00AM

I want to be absolutely clear here: this is a pipe-dream. Jim Matheson's column today makes it clear that the Oilers have no interest in Tanguay because "they need a shooter on the wing".

That said, I wonder if they aren’t being a little short-sighted in that position. Given how long Tanguay’s been on the market, it’s at least conceivable that he’d take an offer that would pay him to be a second-line player – and if he isn’t on the top line, I could see him being a fit for the Oilers. Two weeks ago, I said that I didn’t like the idea – but at the time, I was under the impression he’d be getting 4MM – 5MM per season. If he’s dropped into the 2.5MM – 4MM range, he might be of interest.

Pat Quinn has made it clear that he isn’t big on line-matching, and that’s had some fans clamoring for “three scoring lines”. I’ve been fairly cold to such ideas, mostly because I don’t like the idea of running out a top-nine that’s good at scoring but not much else. That said, the addition of Tanguay would make it possible because he’s a player with a solid defensive game.

Would he bring too much playmaking to the Oilers’ top-nine? Let’s look at the group right now:

  1. Penner (shooter) – Horcoff (both) – Hemsky (playmaker)
  2. O’Sullivan (shooter) – Cogliano (both) – Gagner (playmaker)
  3. Moreau (north/south) – Pouliot (both) – Pisani (shooter)

Let’s assume that the Oilers dump Robert Nilsson somewhere this summer rather than hoping he’ll rebound; his salary would need to be cleared to make room for Tanguay anyway. Let’s re-imagine the lineup with Tanguay inserted:

  1. Cogliano – Horcoff – Hemsky
  2. O’Sullivan – Gagner – Pisani
  3. Tanguay – Pouliot - Penner

That’s one possible combination that might suit Quinn; there’s a bunch of others. Perhaps Cogliano continues to play centre, with a guy like Pouliot or Penner taking faceoffs for him. Maybe Pouliot drops out of the top nine in favour of Ethan Moreau or Gilbert Brule. And don’t make the mistake of thinking Quinn won’t see the value in players like Tanguay – he’s a coach who had no problem with Jonas Hoglund or Mikael Renberg in his top-six, so he can use finesse players just as well as the next guy.

So – yea or nay to Alex Tanguay?

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#51 Hemmertime
July 31 2009, 11:14AM
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scorecoff hemmercules wrote:

What team dean wrote was speculation from someone, not fac

Yup, he probably took it from Garrioch: source: hxxp://www.ottawasun.com/sports/hockey/2009/07/28/10294936.html

However, Tanguay's camp has claimed it to be false. Logic would also dictate that it is false too. If it were true many GMs in the league would be jumping to beat it (us included). I didnt mean it as insult, just, its wrong heh.

Jonathan Willis wrote:

Aside from the Moore incident, there’s just one problem with Todd Bertuzzi: At this point in his career he isn’t a very good hockey player.

44 pts in 66 games puts him 2nd on Oiler FW in PPG and third in overall points in just 66 games. He may not be a first line star anymore, or even not a very good player - but would play better than a lot of our "not very good forwards". That, and Bert's salary should be more reasonable than Tanguay's to fit in. I still think he could contribute to our team and offers alot of the things we need (size, grit, a shooter).

I'd prefer Tanguay but Bertuzzi isnt a bad option at Moreau type money.

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#52 Hemmertime
July 31 2009, 11:15AM
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Dominoiler wrote:

Set your sights a little higher peeps…

Like Heatley/Plan A?

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#53 Jason Gregor
July 31 2009, 11:16AM
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Hemmertime wrote:

I’d prefer Tanguay but Bertuzzi isnt a bad option at Moreau type money.

Bertuzzi made $1.9 last year...You want to give him a raise to $2 million now? Why? He'd take $1 million to play right now, because he has no other options.

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#54 Ender the Dragon
July 31 2009, 11:21AM
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Sandra wrote:

Moore turtled

Hemmertime wrote:

every bodycheck is a chance for that to happen.

To you two, you should look at the clip again. And to Hemmertime specifically, bringing up the one guy in the league's history that did something worse is not a stellar defense.

When I cheer for the Oilers, I want to be able to be proud of the guys on the team. Even if they play badly sometimes, it means a lot to me to know that they're offering to shake hands with the guy who laid them out on the ice with a clean hit or that they're at the Stollery signing autographs off the ice.

It was a dark day for the Oilers when we signed Jesse Boulerice. I felt genuine pity that the Flamers, even the hated rival above all rivals, would deign to stoop so low as to sign Bertuzzi. When we are at the stage that we need that guy, we've said all we need to about the state of this franchise's reputation. Bertuzzi was left off of the Olympic team for a reason. Maybe it wasn't last year, and maybe he's sorry now, but I haven't forgotten. The bottom line is that even if Big Bert scored a hundred points this year and led us to the SCF, I couldn't feel good about him. Some things you just can't undo. I leave it it Willis to tell you why the guy isn't any good at hockey. (And I believe that too.) I'm just saying I couldn't cheer for him even if he was.

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#55 Josh
July 31 2009, 11:21AM
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Christ, if we are looking at Bret i will be pissed. WE NEED A TOP THREE FORWARD NOT A BOTTOM SIX GUY!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#56 Josh
July 31 2009, 11:22AM
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I mean Bert!!!

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#57 scorecoff hemmercules
July 31 2009, 11:24AM
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@ Hemmertime:

I know it wasn't an insult, just typing "that's wrong" deosn't really get the conversation anywhere though. I thought Garrioch was on glue, someone will likely pay Tanguay 2.5 to 3.5 million especially if he has all interest in him thats been mentioned.

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#58 scorecoff hemmercules
July 31 2009, 11:27AM
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p.s.

I love how Heatley in winning the current Crude talk poll and he has nothing to do with it, Go Nation!!!

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#59 dyckster
July 31 2009, 11:29AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

He’d take $1 million to play right now, because he has no other options.

Okay, I lied.

Tanguay - 41pts in 50 gp = 67 pts at 82 GP approx - $2.5 Bert - 44 in 66 = 55 at 82 GP approx $1.5

Total - 122 pts approx $4.0

Heatley - 72 in 82 $5.5 million

That's a bargain at any price!

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#60 Librarian Mike
July 31 2009, 11:35AM
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~Yeah, let's sign Bertuzzi. That'll make all our dressing room problems go away.~

Frankly, I think he should have been banned from hockey for life after what he did to Steve Moore.

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#61 dyckster
July 31 2009, 11:39AM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

Frankly, I think he should have been banned from hockey for life after what he did to Steve Moore.

Along with McSorely, Simon, Pronger......?

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#62 scorecoff hemmercules
July 31 2009, 11:40AM
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Hossa contract under investigation, whats going on in Chicago these days??? Love to have their team though.....

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#63 Ender the Dragon
July 31 2009, 11:42AM
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dyckster wrote:

Tanguay - 41pts in 50 gp = 67 pts at 82 GP approx - $2.5 Bert - 44 in 66 = 55 at 82 GP approx $1.5 Total - 122 pts approx $4.0 Heatley - 72 in 82 $5.5 million That’s a bargain at any price!

Excellent logic. While we're at it, we should upgrade this way too:

Hemsky, $4.1M, 66 points last year Reddox, $.515M, 12 points last year

So, we just trade Hemsky for 6 guys just like Reddox (you'll get that trade) and their combined projected total this year will be 72 points for only $3.09M. Another great deal!

(OK, I didn't use the tildes. Sue me.)

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#64 Librarian Mike
July 31 2009, 11:43AM
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scorecoff hemmercules wrote:

Hossa contract under investigation, whats going on in Chicago these days??? Love to have their team though…..

I'd give them a sheet with three blanks that they can fill in in exchange for Toews.

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#65 Ender the Dragon
July 31 2009, 11:50AM
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@ Librarian Mike: Toews is good, I'll grant you, but Hemsky/Cogs/Visnovsky or some such might be a tad on the generous side for him.

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#66 dyckster
July 31 2009, 11:59AM
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Ender the Dragon wrote:

So, we just trade Hemsky for 6 guys just like Reddox (you’ll get that trade) and their combined projected total this year will be 72 points for only $3.09M. Another great deal!

I didn't even mention a trade, it was a Tanguay/Bert versus Heatley post.

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#67 kingsblade
July 31 2009, 12:17PM
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I'm really torn on this one. As an upgrade to Nilsson he would be fantastic.

That being said I would like to see this team take a major step forward in the number of shots they take. It may be that Tanguay can help by increasing the shot totals of his line mates and through helping push the puck in the right direction, but it's hard to say. I decided to look at where he sits compared to the Oiler players in terms of shots taken per 60 minutes.

Here are the numbers on Tanguay.

Shots/60

Career - 5.1

Since lockout: 05-06 - 5.8 06-07 - 4.5 07-08 - 5.0 08-09 - 5.7

Now to give an idea where that would sit on the Oilers here are the Oilers forwards per 60 shots for last season.

Kotalik - 10.8 O’Sullivan- 10.2 Hemsky - 8.3 Cole - 8.1 Moreau - 8.1 Pouliot - 7.8 Pisani - 7.4 Gagner - 7.3 Brule - 7.2 Penner - 6.9 Potulny - 6.4 Horcoff - 6.2 Cogliano- 5.9 Brodziak- 5.9 Nilsson - 4.8 Reddox - 4.8 MacIntyre- 4.2 Stortini- 3.6 Jacques - 3.5 Schremp - 3.3

Caveat: I didn't know if that stat was available somewhere or not so I calculated it. I did it very quickly so hopefully I did it right.

A few things on that list surprised me quite a bit too, but I wont go into that now.

Tanguay's shot totals range from low to very low compared to the Oilers. Unless he can really boost the shots taken by his line mates I don't see how he can help this team increase their shot totals.

I do recognize his value as a 2-way player and playmaker, so this in no way designed to attempt to rate his value, just his shooting totals, which seem almost shockingly low by this metric.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I would take him in a heartbeat at a decent salary, but only if we lose Nilsson and make another deal somewhere else to address the teams shooting concerns.

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#68 Librarian Mike
July 31 2009, 12:33PM
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@ Ender the Dragon:

Yeah, actually right after I hit 'post' I realized that 3 players is too much. 2? I'd do it, but then again I think Lemieux was a better player than Gret....

*runs and hides*

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#69 Dominoiler
July 31 2009, 12:55PM
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dyckster... simon should have been punted in my estimation...

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#70 Chumpkins
July 31 2009, 12:55PM
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I think Tanguay is too soft and is injury prone. Nay for me.

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#71 The Menace
July 31 2009, 01:04PM
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jeff wrote:

Also, with that article it was mentioned the Oil had interest in Kostopolous (SP?).

Was he the dad from Webster?

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#72 Ender the Dragon
July 31 2009, 01:13PM
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@ dyckster:

The point still stands. If a team could have Reddox (x6) or Hemsky, they pick Hemsky. If a team could have Bert/Tanguay or Heater (baggage aside for this discussion), they pick Heater. Several marginal players do not equal one excellent player an any case, and to base the argument on combined point totals is just silly.

I like some of your other points; just not this one.

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#73 dyckster
July 31 2009, 01:30PM
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@Dragon:

I definately see your point. My thought(s) were though if we could fill 2 much talked about holes in our roster (including the one Heater would/could fill) with proven assets for less money than we could fill one, is there not some semblance of rationale there?

Anyway, we could go on for ever with this type of debate. My guess is, the way the summer has gone, we don't have any one of these boys in our lineup come opening night.

*Goes back to throwing Dale Hawerchuk darts at Jaimie Macoun hockey cards*

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#74 team dean
July 31 2009, 04:30PM
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don't shoot the messanger. there is a few reply post insisting that when i said he could be had for around 2 mill that i was just speculating. all i am doing is reitterating what i listened to on gregors show the other day from the guest host. look at the cap situation for most teams, most are up against it or over, then you have a group of teams that just wanna spend to the floor of the cap i.e florida. tanguays gravey train has left the station, tanguay though i think wiould be a nice one year fit for edmonton in that 2-2.5 mill range, he plays the wing we have need on, and he could be motivated to prove himself, specially against calgary

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#75 DanMan
July 31 2009, 04:33PM
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Yay for Bertuzzi!

Nay for Tanguay!

6'3" 235 beats 6'0" 190 for this team as of now.

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#76 DanMan
July 31 2009, 04:38PM
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dyckster wrote:

Let’s get Tanguay for 2.5ish and sign Bertuzzi as well. The Flames are gonna dump him, he might be worth a shot on a 1 year cheap deal. He still has great hands and good size, he just needs to find a bit of the mean streak he lost since “the incident”. Okay, I’ve got my bullet-proof vest on, have at it boys!

dyckster, I have been saying this since July 1. Why can't we give him a shot. Remember when Sather used to bring the washed-up guys to TC? I think at $1.5 mil Bert would be a bargain even if he only scores 15 and 45 points. For a third liner, that would be a helpful contribution.

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#77 DanMan
July 31 2009, 04:40PM
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Ender the Dragon wrote:

dyckster wrote: Bertuzzi I dare you to wear that Oilers Bertuzzi jersey out in public. Good luck with that. And people say in the same breath that the Oilers need to work on their image. Sheesh.

Yeah, we need to work on our image of being a small team of pu$$ies

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#78 Qat Puinn
July 31 2009, 08:13PM
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The most interesting about this whole thing is that the link to Matheson's story goes to the Calgary Herald, not The Edmonton Journal.

You a Calgarian or a Flames fan?

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#79 HAZER
July 31 2009, 09:05PM
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Said it before and ill say it again.. Bertuzzi would be a great fit for this team. Good cap hit, good point producer, good gritty forward. He is what our top two lines need, and considering the situation, there isnt much else we can get out there like that for that money.

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#80 gdawg
July 31 2009, 09:13PM
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@ HAZER: Bertuzzi's back is a problem now. He would be the oiler version of jessie lumsden. you just expect him to get hurt but you just dont know when

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#81 HAZER
August 02 2009, 12:19AM
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@ gdawg: His back is better now, and why not tho!? Why not take a risk, he's a good option that would fit along with our teams needs for a very fair price.. We need to take risks in order to get anywhere.. Hes not the next savior for this team, but hes a start. An injury to him mid-season would be a loss and is possible, but the cap hit wont be a big problem to have to deal with. no?

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