Born November 21, 1979 (age 32) in Sainte-Justine, Quebec, Canada
Left wing for the Calgary Flames
Let’s face it–Tanguay just has a fun name to say, and every time I hear it, I get a little curious about him. I had to find out more. He did his junior hockey with the awesomely-named Halifax Mooseheads before being picked 12th overall in 1998 by Colorado. Invited to training camp, he impressed the team so much that he made the roster at the age of 18, but then contract talks fell apart and he had to go back to Halifax. He played a while in Halifax, a shortened season due to a concussion, and replaced his agent so that contract talks could go well this time. On his NHL debut night in October 1999, he scored a goal against Nashville! He sometimes had a little trouble adapting to playing in the bigs, but played on the Cup-winning Avalanche squad in 2001 and he was clutch at times in getting that hardware. He set an Avalanche record for points streak at 16 games, got a hatty in 2003, was quite nearly traded to Boston, played in Switzerland during the NHL non-year, then became a Flame in 2006 when he hit RFA status.
While he had a great first season in Calgary, he clashed with their new coach in 2007 and started to struggle offensively because coach Mike Keenan made him play positions he wasn’t comfortable playing. He requested a trade in 2008 and was sent to Montreal at the ’08 draft even though he’d previously said that he didn’t want to play in Montreal. While he had a nice start to his season in Habsland, he suffered a separated shoulder after a bad hit and had to miss a lot of games. Montreal did not resign him and he fell in with Tampa Bay for a pretty bad year, so bad that even he said he’d forgotten how to play. Perhaps a return to an old haunt would help–he returned to Calgary, now under new coaching, explaining that he had unfinished business with them and they were confident in him. Pardon the terrible pun, but the return to Calgary rekindled his passion. He was resigned for five years after last season.
Last season, he played 79 games, scored 22 goals, got 47 assists and spent just 24 minutes in the box. It looks like he could match or exceed that this year. For him, a return to an old stomping ground is just what the doctor ordered. Good for him!