Choose Your Own Adventure: Alex Tanguay

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?

  • Hippy

    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.

  • Hippy

    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.


    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.

  • Hippy

    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.

  • Hippy

    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.