Welcome to “get to know your Avs”! This feature will take a look at current Avalanche players (and maybe some staff, too) to give you an idea as to just who these guys are and what they mean to the Avalanche.
Yes, some (or most) of you will already know these guys but don’t be party poopers; nobody likes party poopers.
Today, we look at a man making his return to the Avalanche after seven seasons away. The last remnant (since Milan Hejduk is gone) of the Cup-winning days, Alex Tanguay!
Who: Alex Tanguay
Nicknames: Tangs, Tangy, Tanger (basically anything with “Tang”)
How He Came to Denver: Originally – 12th overall, 1998 NHL Draft. Recently – traded fromCalgary with Cory Sarich for David Jones and Shane O’Brien.
What he’s done: Tanguay was the young’n amongst the veteran, superstar talentColorado had in its yesteryear. In the shadows of Sakic, Forsberg, Drury, and Hejduk, Tanger got to play pressure free and had a fantastic first two seasons, even scoring twice in game seven of the 2001 Finals, helping the Avs win their second Cup.
He, Forsberg, and Hejduk would form the highly successful “AMP” line, with Tanguay setting career-highs in assists and points during 2003/04 despite missing 13 games.
As the talent left town (Forsberg and Adam Foote bolted via free agency), Tanguay became one of the prime options and had another strong season. The Avalanche, however, were in a cap crunch and couldn’t afford the young winger any longer.
Tanguay would bounce around a bit the next four years with stops inCalgary,Montreal, andTampaBaybefore winding up inCalgaryagain for the last three years; still a solid scorer.
What he means to the team currently: Tanguay will be the big brother, the veteran among the sea of young, talented players. So kind of a reversal from where he was when he came up.
I would suspect he’ll likely see time with Paul Stastny and winger du jour (Steve Downie?) on the second line and could see some power play time depending on where Nathan MacKinnon slots into that equation.
He’s not the near point-per-game player he was even two years ago but he should be a solid top-six winger for the Avalanche and someone who can give a few pointers to the youngsters. If he can help snap Stastny back to form, that would be a big perk for the Avs.
What to expect: In all fairness to him, it’s not like the Avalanche got Tanguay back at 37 or 38 when most players are hanging on by a thread to collect a paycheck or avoid life after hockey.
At 33 years old, Tanguay is still a viable scoring threat. Though always more of a playmaker, Tanguay can put them away, too, and should benefit Stastny (or whoever centers him) to some degree.
Injuries have always been an issue for Tanguay (of his 12 non-lockout seasons, he’s only played 80+ games four times) so expect him to miss some time with injuries of the nagging variety.
Look for him to appear in 75ish games, topping the 20 goals and 50 points.
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