MONTREAL - With the start of the regular season only a few short weeks away, the time has come to dust off those crystal balls and see what lies ahead for a few Canadiens in 2008-09. Next up: Alex Tanguay.
Acquired from the Calgary Flames at the NHL Entry Draft back in June, Tanguay will be sporting an Eastern Conference sweater for the first time in his career. With 116 points in 122 career games against his new conference, it’s clear that Tanguay won’t be worrying about the tighter, more defensive style employed in the East hindering his talent. He can also breathe a sigh of relief that he'll be playing with the Canadiens rather than against them, as the Habs remain the lone NHL team against which he has yet to light the lamp.
The 12th overall pick in the 1998 draft, Tanguay can join a select group in 2008-09. Sitting 61 points shy of 600 career points, the 28-year-old will join Vincent Lecavalier as the only other player from that class to reach the milestone mark.
Over the course of his eight-year career, Tanguay has been one of the sharpest shooters in the league. He currently leads all active NHL players in career shooting percentage, with 19.4% of the pucks he’s directed at opposing goaltenders over the years finding the back of the net.
While he’s proven he can light the lamp with ease, the Ste-Justine, Quebec native has also shown he’s far from being a one-dimensional player. Ever since breaking into the NHL in 1999-2000, Tanguay has yet to find himself on the negative end of a regular season plus-minus rating. With Guy Carbonneau’s game plan, it’s a good bet that record will stretch into a ninth season.
Now, all that’s left is to see what number he’ll wear on his back.