Colorado Avalanche veteran forward Alex Tanguay has accomplished many things in his career, including lifting the Stanley Cup as a member of the Avs after securing the victory over the New Jersey Devils when he scored the winning goal in Game 7 on June 9, 2001.
He has amassed 828 points over 15 NHL seasons, and ranks seventh on the franchise’s all-time scoring list with 466 points in 546 games.
During of the 2014-15 season, Tanguay added skating in his 1,000th NHL game and 500th in a burgundy and blue sweater to his extensive resume. He became the 299th player in NHL history and seventh member of the Avs to reach the 1,000-game milestone.
The 35-year-old forward also finished the year ranked third on the team in both goals (22) and points (55-tied) and shared the team lead with four game-winning tallies. He reached the 20-goal mark for the seventh time in his career—his first since he did it in 2010-11 with the Calgary Flames—and was one of five Colorado players to score 55-plus points.
Skating alongside Jarome Iginla and Matt Duchene, Tanguay helped create a top goal-producing line for the Avalanche last season, with all three players finishing in the top-five in team points and goalscoring.
“I really enjoy playing with him,” Iginla said of Tanguay back in April. “He’s a guy that you really just try to get open for. You try to get open, and he sees you. He can pass it through guys. He can pass it under their stick. He can make plays in traffic. I’ve been very fortunate to get to play with him and I’ve benefitted.”
Tanguay also appeared in 80 games in a single campaign for the first time since his 2009-10 stint with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and led the league—for the second time in his career—with a 21.2 shooting percentage.
Considered his own harshest critic, Tanguay said he believes in bringing consistency to the ice on a daily basis and that there’s always work to be done.
“I’m satisfied, but I don’t think I’m playing the way I should be playing,” he said in March. “I always think there’s more.”
On March 4, Tanguay alongside his wife and children, was honored for his millennial milestone in front of the home crowd at Pepsi Center.
Reminiscing about his first NHL game on Oct. 5, 1999, Tanguay said of his time in an Avs sweater: “It’s gone by so fast. I remember when I was coming into the league and looking at guys that were my age now and thinking ‘these guys are so old and they’ve played for so long.’ Now I’m that guy.”
Colorado’s first-round (12th overall) selection in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Tanguay feels blessed having played eight seasons with Colorado, admitting he still has fun with the game.
“As a kid, I always dreamed of playing one [game],” he said. “I am very fortunate. This is what I wanted to do as a kid and this is what I still enjoy, coming to the rink and playing.”
Despite appearing near the top of multiple categories in the franchise record book, Tanguay knows there’s more hockey left in him. Even if he does already have the fourth-most points in Avalanche history, trailing only Joe Sakic, Milan Hejduk and Peter Forsberg.
“I still feel very good, and I’m very confident I can play for a little while longer,” he said. “I can help get this team back to the level that we think this franchise needs to be at.”