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:
- Penner (shooter) – Horcoff (both) – Hemsky (playmaker)
- O’Sullivan (shooter) – Cogliano (both) – Gagner (playmaker)
- 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:
- Cogliano – Horcoff – Hemsky
- O’Sullivan – Gagner – Pisani
- 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?