It’s early August… do you know where your Alex Tanguay is?

Flames general manager Darryl Sutter, as is his usual practice, has wrapped up his summer business very early, which has opened the door for idle speculation about Tanguay’s possible return to the Flames. Nothing concrete, you understand, or even oatmealish in terms of substance. But there’s just enough gossiping and just enough fans with nothing else to occupy their attentions and not quite enough Tanguay actually signing somewhere else to stop all this nonsense for the whole thing to keep growing unchecked like the mold on the for the forgotten corned beef on rye sandwich at the back of the fridge.

Most of the Tanguay talk is propped up by the notion that the Flames’ top-six situation remains a little rickety and that the winger is getting so desperate for work that he’ll play for any loose change he can find in the Saddledome seats. Supporters of this course of action also take note of the fact that a Keenan-free Calgary might entice Tanguay to give the Flames another go and Sutter’s willingness to bring former players back for encores – hello there Jamie McLennan, Craig Conroy, Brandon Prust, Jamie Lundmark, etc.

All that said, Tanguay’s return seems very unlikely, and we say that despite Sutter’s penchant for shoving seemingly unlikely scenarios down the throats of skeptical fans and especially journalists. We also say that despite the fact that regardless of what Tanguay’s many detractors may think, the 29-year-old Ste-Justine, Que., native would be a wonderful fit for the 2009-10 Flames.

The problems are as follows:

  1. No matter how discounted Tanguay might be at this late stage of the flea market, his price can’t possibly fall low enough for the Flames to be able to afford him unless they dump a contract.
  2. The Flames have already trimmed the two most obviously expendable hunks of payroll, namely the contracts for Jim Vandermeer and Wayne Primeau.
  3. The suggestion that defenceman Cory Sarich should be sacrificed for forward help and that the Mark Giordanos, Adam Pardys, Anton Stralmans and Staffan Kronwalls of the Flames’ world will all simply move up one notch to pick up the slack isn’t as neat and simple as proponents would have you believe.
  4. Some of the fans clamouring for the signing of Tanguay are the same people who were laughing at the Tampa Bay Lightning for having all those forwards on one-way deals a summer ago. Well, don’t look now guys and gals but the Flames are one forward away from hitting the outskirts of Koules-Lawton Territory.

Of course, tongues will continue to wag until Tanguay finally finds a new address and besides, pondering the repatriation of Tanguay does seem like a better investment of Flames fans’ energies and hopeful thinking than a second act of Todd Bertuzzi.

Oh, and by the way? It’s only five weeks until the start of training camp.