Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Could Tanguay be in play?

I was just reading an excellent history of Bob Gainey's trading activity as an NHL general manager over at Lions in Winter, and it got me thinking.

Could Bob Gainey be a partial seller Wednesday?

The last two trade deadlines in Montreal have been marked by Gainey trying to grab some value for impending unrestricted free agents he had no intention of re-signing. Two years ago it was Craig Rivet, which brought the Canadiens Josh Gorges and Max Pacioretty. And last year it was Cristobal Huet for a second round pick in this year's draft.

So who among this year's massive crop of unrestricted free agents are unlikely to return to Montreal?

Alex Kovalev? I think that's a fair bet, but I'm not sure there would be equal value coming back for him unless what Darren Dreger reported about Erik Cole being part of a potential package from the Oilers for him is true.

But the more intriguing name for me is Alex Tanguay. His value is diminished because he won't have played a game before the 3 p.m. deadline Wednesday, but Tanguay could entice some GM out there desperate to add some scoring talent who would be willing to give the Habs the defenceman they badly need.

I don't think it would be such a bad move, because I don't feel Tanguay ever really found a role on this team or linemates that he developed any chemistry with while he was healthy. If he can bring in a defenceman who could compete for playing time on the Habs third pairing, then Tanguay may be worth shipping out.

The only reason I'm even thinking of this scenario is simply because Gainey's pattern of behaviour on deadline day has led me to expect the unexpected. So maybe Tanguay leaving town is something we should expect.

Any buyer needing offence in the Western Conference could be a decent trade partner, but the problem is Tanguay has a no-trade clause and would need to be consulted on the location. That likely takes a few of the teams out of the running, like Nashville and Columbus for instance.

But Vancouver could use a high-end winger, and they have tons of cap space to absorb what's left on Tanguay's big contract. They also have Mathias Ohlund headed to unrestricted free agency, but I'm not sure they would do that. But would Gainey accept potential restricted free agent Shane O'Brien and a pick as a sufficient return for Tanguay?

Not sure, but I feel this is a chip that Gainey has in his back pocket that hasn't been talked about at all, and that's a big reason why he may be in play on Wednesday.


Schrick said...

I disagree about Tanguay. Before his injury, Tanguay was top three in points and always making something happen on the ice. His passing ability surpasses any of the other Hab's wingers.

pierre said...

Good points Harpu, yes I can see the rational behind two organizations moving players to gain a better balance of attributes within their teams so as to improved their chances to succeed in the present........ but those kind of moves are I think a rarity at the trading dead line were the mentality is based on being either a seller or a buyer...... maybe the GMs are too affraid to make a mistake that will exploded in their face...... say like Tanguay making a wild playoffs contribution to his new team while we sunk big time with our new D guy playing in the minus.

Yet your proposition is way more rational than what Gainey did last season with our veteran goally........ substracting Huet from our team was illogical with our situation and ambition at that time and was only made worse by the fact that no immediate help came our way as a result of such a trade....... I just cant see Gainey sticking his head out of the pack at this stage of the game.

You know the shots against our team are a tad lower then they were last year and the preceding season....... so if our goaltending duo start to shinne steady and if our PP efficienty keep on shining steady the way it has since the arrival of Schneider than our team shoud be about the equivalant of what we were last season and pretty close to what the Bruins are today.

Our shots against/for ratio this season is similar to the one of the Bruins...... but their goally have been more hot than ours and so has been the goal scoring hability of their players..... those crucial differences might no longer exist if our rescent performances in those erea were to continue.