This coming May is the 40th anniversary of the Atlanta Flames moving to Calgary. To commemorate this occasion, we’re counting down the Top 40 Calgary Flames in history.
Coming in at #27 is Alex Tanguay.
Of all the players that the Flames tried on Jarome Iginla’s left wing, Tanguay may have been the one that worked out the best – sorry Dean McAmmond, you’re in second place. He had two stints and both were tied to trying to get the absolute most out of Iginla’s line.
After the Flames won their division in 2005-06 but couldn’t get out of the first round, general manager Darryl Sutter did what he always did – he traded some draft picks to upgrade his roster. He grabbed Tanguay on NHL Draft weekend hoping he would gel with Iginla. Good news! He did, scoring at a point-per-game pace in his first season and slightly below that in his second season. But Tanguay couldn’t get the Flames out of the opening round of the post-season and he was swapped to Montreal in a swap that, paired with another move, brought Mike Cammalleri to Calgary.
Tanguay returned to Calgary in 2010 on a one year deal, again teaming up with Iginla for a productive 69 point season. Retaining him via a contract extension was the main reason for Robyn Regehr’s trade to Buffalo at the 2011 NHL Draft – the rules around how much salary teams could add on extensions meant that Regehr’s cap hit had to be moved out to lock Tanguay in.
Unfortunately, locking Tanguay in happened at an inopportune time. The Flames weren’t a playoff team and a couple seasons later, the club’s rebuild began with Iginla’s departure. Tanguay was swapped to Colorado that summer.
Was Tanguay an elite player? Probably not. But he was a great fit with Iginla and was a very productive offensive player for as long as he wore a Flames sweater. He logs in at #28 on our list.
Arrival: Traded from Colorado for Jordan Leopold, 2006 second round pick and 2007 second round pick (June 24, 2006)
Departure: Traded with 2008 fifth round pick to Montreal for 2008 first round pick (Greg Nemisz) and 2009 second round pick (later traded to Colorado) (June 20, 2008)
Re-Arrival: Signed as a free agent (July 1, 2010)
Re-Departure: Traded with Cory Sarich to Colorado for Shane O’Brien and David Jones (June 27, 2013)
Awards: none