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 a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Skidplate
July 31 2009, 06:15AM
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I say yes if his price tag is under $3.5M. He has very good offensive skills and as you say JW, his defensive game is solid.

We still have to add a little more size however. Tanguay is 6' 190 lbs, not small but not big and by no means does he play big.

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#2 Lofty
July 31 2009, 06:19AM
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Big NAY!!!

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#3 humantorch
July 31 2009, 06:21AM
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I just want to see Tambo do SOMETHING this summer that actually improves the team in some measurable fashion.

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#4 Randy83
July 31 2009, 06:37AM
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The thing I don't like about Tanguay, is he's like hemmer, with a big reluctance to shoot the puck! At least that's what I remember from his days wearing an ugly red jersey! He had some great, productive years in Colorodo, but that was a star studded team, Sakic, Forsberg, Hejduk, and so on! I think he would frustrate us much like hemmer does with opting to pass more often then not! If the price was right, and I'm with skidplate, UNDER 3.5, then I'd be okay with him! At least we could say we added a top six forward and we would have something to look forward too.

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#5 Bryce
July 31 2009, 06:52AM
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Big yes. Adding Alex Tanguay would be like adding an Ales Hemsky on the left side, except Tanguay can play defense. The two of them play a similar style of game and put up similar numbers. At this point, I imagine that Tanguay would come at a reasonable price, and I'll take top-line players for free with a $3.5 million cap hit any day of the week regardless of our needs. The fact that we need top-end talent on the left side is a bonus.

Penner-Horcoff-Hemsky Tanguay-O'Sullivan-Gagner Moreau-Cogliano-Pisani Jacques-Pouliot-Stortini

That team is much better than the one with Robert Nilsson in place of Tanguay and only $1.5 million more expensive. Tanguay is a great opportunity for Tambo to save the summer of disaster.

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#6 oilerdago
July 31 2009, 07:27AM
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I'd say a reluctant nay. He's better than Nilsson, but when you look at the problems we have in our top nine - a #1LW and a #3C the only way he fits in is on the #2 line as a passer - not a shooter.

You could move POS up to #1LW - which I think you've commented might be one of the options being considered.

But Tanguay's not going to fit on the 1st or 3rd line. Plus iirc he can't kill penalties.

It's a sideways move at best.

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#7 team dean
July 31 2009, 07:43AM
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rumour has it Tanguays price tag will be under or around 2 mill, the best offer he has recieved so far is said to be 1.4 mill, at that price i would for sure take a chance on a 25 goal, 70 point guy when healthy. Penner-Horcoff-Hemsky Tanguay-Gagner-O'sullivan Pisani-Cogliano-Moreau Jacques-Pouliot/Brulle-Stortini

hey as long as we can keep Reddox out of the top six on this team i am a happy fan. and yeah trade Nillson for a 3rd rounder to someone. as for the comment its a sideways move at best how can you compare Tanguays top end with Nillsons. 30 goals 80 points to 15 goals and 50 points, i see it as a step ahead especially if the dollars are the same

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#8 Garett
July 31 2009, 07:48AM
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If Alex is secretly actually Dany Heatley just in disguise, then sure!

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#9 scorecoff hemmercules
July 31 2009, 07:54AM
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For as low as 2 to 3 mil I would say yes assuming Nilsson was gone. As long as there is still room for a decent centerman which doesn't seem likely unless we make a trade. I'm with humantorsh, I just want to see SOMETHING.

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#10 scorecoff hemmercules
July 31 2009, 07:55AM
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*edit*

humantorch

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#11 Asciutto
July 31 2009, 08:22AM
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Yes, Yes, Yes

he would deepen this outfit a tonne

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#12 smytty777
July 31 2009, 08:39AM
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I think people get too caught up in this guy's a shooter, this guy's a passer. The only important question is "Is this guy a good hockey player?"

And Tanguay is.

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#13 Souby
July 31 2009, 08:40AM
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humantorch wrote:

I just want to see Tambo do SOMETHING this summer that actually improves the team in some measurable fashion.

I second that motion....Do we have a third?

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#14 jeff
July 31 2009, 08:41AM
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Good Blog

Well if he is willing to come in around 2.5ish, why not take him?

Not sure if I'd like him on line three, but with Penner I don't mind it.

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#15 jeff
July 31 2009, 08:43AM
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Souby wrote:

humantorch wrote: I just want to see Tambo do SOMETHING this summer that actually improves the team in some measurable fashion. I second that motion….Do we have a third?

Not really. Not sure it's a smart thing to make a move for the sake of making a move. If it improves the team then fine, but it needs to benefit us.

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#16 sittingatmydesk
July 31 2009, 08:48AM
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It is so obvious the Oilers will not be getting a goal scorer... so we have to move on to plan B,C or D.. Tanguay will add more skill to our second line..for the right price of course ( between 2-2.5 mill) Penner-Horcoff-Hemsky Tanguay-Gagner-O’Sullivan Moreau-Cogliano-Pisani Jacques-Brule-Stortini O’Sullivan and Cogliano can switch it up according to how the game goes on... And lets bring on Adam Oates as a consultant, and he can teach our centers ( Cogliano) how to win a faceoff...

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#17 Colin
July 31 2009, 08:53AM
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Acquiring Tanguay sounds good, but I think that leaves a problem.

Your still leaving one of your better forwards on your third line, playing a checking role, when Cogliano is much better suited to an offensive role given his speed and shooting ability. I'd like to see what he could do with top 6 minutes this season.

Unless you're running a top line and two second lines (as you propose in the article JW) you have at least one top 6 forward playing too few minutes.

What this team needs is a longterm plan/strategy. Assuming they have one does Tanguay fit? I don't know.

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#18 Wainwright Dan
July 31 2009, 08:53AM
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hxxp://www.thefourthperiod.com/news/nyr090727.html

What about Zherdev if we could clear the necessary space?

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#19 Boondock
July 31 2009, 08:59AM
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How the hell did guys like Gionta, Antropov, etc. get the deals they did while Tanguay is twisting in the wind with rumoured offers under $2M?

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#20 jeff
July 31 2009, 09:03AM
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Also, with that article it was mentioned the Oil had interest in Kostopolous (SP?). Why is my question? 4th line leader type player, but do we have room for someone like that?

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#21 KSC10032
July 31 2009, 09:03AM
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Look everyone, the Oilers are a team that -- right now -- is measurably short of genuinely "ready right now" NHL talent, in pretty much every area except the blueline -- all the "good kids" notwithstanding.

If the price is right of course the Oilers should be interested. However I don't quite buy the assertion that Tanguay is only receiving offers in the $1.5 to 2.0 million range.

Skidplate's suggestion would appear to be the bottom range of "market rate" here.

Given the dog and pony show that is Heatley, Tanguay looks better every day, if cap considerations can be solved.

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#22 Archaeologuy
July 31 2009, 09:06AM
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The thing that raises my eyebrow from the Matheson column is the bit where he says the Oilers arent going to hire a pro-scout to replace Daum. Wasnt this the area of Hockey operations that having a new owner with deep pockets was supposed to give the Oilers an advantage? The team can only spend so much on salary and they already beefed up on coaching. So why not make the Oilers' scouting the best in the league? Has universal health-care finally destroyed the prescription medicine business? Unlikely. No excuse for leaving the scouting department a man down.

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#23 oilers123
July 31 2009, 09:06AM
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I like the idea but don't think Tambo will try to get him.

I like how he plys the game. But you can't compare him to Hemsky. Hemsky has never played with players like Sakic or Iggy. That being said.if the Oil get him hopefully he can teach hemmer how to play better defensivly. I can't stand to watch hemmer skate around our team then there's and around there net and give the puck up at the blueline. Tanguany would be a better fit on the first line then Hemsky.

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#24 Ender the Dragon
July 31 2009, 09:09AM
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No. If I'm interested in a LW for $2-3.5M and I've got to clear Nillson to do it anyway, I just start making a wish list of one or two guys off every team and start phoning GM's to see what they want. Tambo has been concentrating on a big-ticket top-line LW and thus far hasn't been able to make anything happen. If he sighed a deep sigh, penciled Penner in on the top line, and shifted his sights to improving the second/third lines, then I think there's a trade out there that does that and improves our face-off percentage and improves our special-teams situation.

The other day, I was in a clearance store and saw an electric razor for $10. 'That's a great price,' I said to myself and I scooped it up. I was very happy with my 'deal' all the way to the check-out. As I pulled out my wallet, however, I started thinking a little more. In the first place, the razor wasn't better than what I was already using, so it was going to be a back-up. Second, I didn't anticipate needing to replace my current razor for some time. And third, as far as razors go, it didn't sport many of the features that I look for in a good shave. With all that said, the 'bargain' price of $10 started to look more and more like I was really just taking a $10 bill, laminating it, and sticking it in a drawer somewhere in my house. No function for my money.

Tanguay is a good player, but he's not what this team needs right now. Thus, whatever you pay for him is money wasted if that money could have been used elsewhere for a greater benefit. Should we improve the club? Hells yes, but let's not sign someone just to say 'Hey, I signed someone.' Patience, people. It's still July.

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#25 Lofty
July 31 2009, 09:10AM
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Tanguay is not looking for a 1 year contract and for the oil to sign him to anything longer than that would only prolong the teams cap problems.

As much as we hate it, they need to let the kids grow, save the money and after next year they will be able to go shopping.

Hopefully some teams in the middle of the season find some glaring defensive holes and need a part of of the oils solid D-line. Then the oil can finaly get the goal scorer they are looking for. Thats the only good way I see this working out.

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#26 Fish
July 31 2009, 09:17AM
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I'd take that mutt at about 2.5

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#27 GSC
July 31 2009, 09:19AM
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Tanguay for anything under $3 MIL over Nilsson would be fantastic...beam me up, Scotty!

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#28 dyckster
July 31 2009, 09:31AM
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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!

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#29 Ducey
July 31 2009, 09:33AM
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No. This team isn't winning the Cup this year. The focus has to be on development. 1 yr of Alex might help in the attempt to make the playoffs but it means he is going to take away ice time from younger players that need it.

He also makes this team softer, if that is possible.

~Besides, he is not going to fit when Heatly gets here~

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#30 Sandra
July 31 2009, 09:50AM
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Willis you brought up an interesting point. Why didn't MacT use Penner for draws? He was very good at it and MacT claims you either have it or you don't on face off. Penner played most of the begging of last year woth Pisani as a center,and Moreauas the other winger. Yet everyone is on this guy for not putting up points. He lost his confidence in the begging but playing a third line checking role he did play well. Glad MacT is gone. Can you get an update on how many interviews he had? Thanks, J.W.

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#31 Ender the Dragon
July 31 2009, 09:55AM
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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.

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#32 Sandra
July 31 2009, 09:57AM
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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.

Bertuzzi got the raw end of the deal. Moore turtled and Crawford got off scott free, along with Burke.

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#33 Ender
July 31 2009, 09:58AM
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I know people avoid thinking outside the numbers, but a guy who has such a hard time staying in a city might be a mine we don't want to trip over.

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#34 Fish
July 31 2009, 10:04AM
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Bertuzzi. I'm in.

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#35 Ducey
July 31 2009, 10:08AM
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Sandra wrote:

Moore turtled

That is the silliest thing I have read in a while. Getting sucker punched from behind and having ones head driven into the ice is not turtling.

Bert's actions are not defensible. Whether Bert got a raw deal in comparison to other acts of goonmanship is another matter.

Anyway, Bert has never been the same. He is now a non physical player with some good passing skills, an indifferent attitude and a lot of baggage. The Oil don't need him.

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#36 dyckster
July 31 2009, 10:10AM
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Ender the Dragon wrote:

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.

C.mon Ender, since 2000, and not including 06/07 where he only played 15 games due to injury, he's averaged 65 points and 74 games played. He's only 34 years old, I'd bet a signed Oilers Heatley, Tanguay, Kessel (take your pick) jersey he still has some good hockey in him.

Have a heart man! :)

Sheesh back atchya.

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#37 scorecoff hemmercules
July 31 2009, 10:13AM
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@ Ducey:

Agree 100%.

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#38 Rogue
July 31 2009, 10:34AM
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Jesus Tap Dancing Christ, if you can sign him for under 3M do it! He has more offensive skill then almost any one on this team. He IS an upgrade. Another thing, he has expierience which this team truly lacks up front. Yeah, I know we need to get bigger up front but unless a trade happens there is no FA out there who fits that need who can play top 6. And while you are at it, Tambo end this Heatly thing once and for all. We look like beggars to the rest of the world.

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#39 Hemmertime
July 31 2009, 10:44AM
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team dean wrote:

rumour has it Tanguays price tag will be under or around 2 mill, the best offer he has recieved so far is said to be 1.4 mill,

That is wrong.

Ender the Dragon wrote:

I dare you to wear that Oilers Bertuzzi jersey out in public. Good luck with that.

McSorley did worse. Marchments knees, plenty of other examples where people went out to injure. Bertuzzi may have tried to hit/hurt Moore but every bodycheck is a chance for that to happen.

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#40 Hemmertime
July 31 2009, 10:45AM
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Oh, and a big Yes on Tanguay. I see it more Penner - Horcoff - Hemsky Tanguay - OSullivan/Cogs - Gagner

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#41 dyckster
July 31 2009, 10:51AM
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Hemmertime wrote:

Penner - Horcoff - Hemsky Tanguay - OSullivan/Cogs - Gagner

AND

Bertuzzi - OSullivan/Cogs (whoever we don't use on L2) - Pisani

Looks good to me!

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#42 Jonathan Willis
July 31 2009, 10:56AM
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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.

Pass.

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#43 scorecoff hemmercules
July 31 2009, 10:57AM
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Hemmertime wrote:

Bertuzzi may have tried to hit/hurt Moore but every bodycheck is a chance for that to happen.

There was nothing "bodycheck" about it from what I have seen.

dyckster wrote:

team dean wrote: rumour has it Tanguays price tag will be under or around 2 mill, the best offer he has recieved so far is said to be 1.4 mill, That is wrong.

What team dean wrote was speculation from someone, not fact.

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#44 scorecoff hemmercules
July 31 2009, 11:00AM
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not sure why dyckster got in my post there???

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#45 Dominoiler
July 31 2009, 11:00AM
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Too be honest... i didnt really like the looks of those lines you had with tanguay... They looked fairly balanced without him (although the second line was/is small and without a decent faceoff option... (unless somehow the scenario arrives where nils is out and tang is in for 3->4 than you make it work... but, that isnt happening so..)

PS... F! all this bertuzz (and prospal) talk... gawd...

Set your sights a little higher peeps...

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#46 Dominoiler
July 31 2009, 11:01AM
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ps... nils out, tang in... WITH the Heatly deal...

Then we're cooking w fire...

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#47 Ogden Brother
July 31 2009, 11:07AM
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Rogue wrote:

Jesus Tap Dancing Christ, if you can sign him for under 3M do it! He has more offensive skill then almost any one on this team. He IS an upgrade. Another thing, he has expierience which this team truly lacks up front. Yeah, I know we need to get bigger up front but unless a trade happens there is no FA out there who fits that need who can play top 6. And while you are at it, Tambo end this Heatly thing once and for all. We look like beggars to the rest of the world.

No doubt, Tanguay under 3 million is a no brainer. The guy was in a legit race for the scoring title at one point. He would be our second best forward for at least the next 2 maybe 3 years.

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#48 dyckster
July 31 2009, 11:08AM
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Dominoiler wrote:

Set your sights a little higher peeps…

Why? Could probably get him cheap, good sized 3rd line guy that's had 97 and 85 point season's in the not to distant past.

Jonathan Willis wrote:

At this point in his career he isn’t a very good hockey player. Pass.

He even managed 44 points last year.

Okay, I'm done, I promise, maybe.

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#49 Bob Cob
July 31 2009, 11:09AM
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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. Pass.

I wouldn't be as soon to say he isn't a good hockey player, I would say he isn't as effective as he was, and he never will be. He still has good hands, is big and can skate. He isn't effective because he is afraid to play physical after the Moore incident and when he does he takes too many penalties. He was great with Naslund and Morrison in Vancouver but the Moore incident turned him into a marked man.

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#50 Charlie
July 31 2009, 11:11AM
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Yay

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