VANCOUVER — The NHL Entry Draft was just one pick old when the Calgary Flames made a big splash on the trade front by acquiring sniper Alex Tanguay
from the Colorado Avalanche.
General manager and coach Darryl Sutter announced the acquisition of Tanguay in exchange for defenceman Jordan Leopold, a second round choice, 59th overall, in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft and a conditional, second round draft choice in 2007 or 2008..
Tanguay had 78 points (29 goals, 49 assists) and 46 penalty minutes in 71 games with the Avalanche last season. That put him behind only Joe Sakic on the Avs in scoring.
Alex Tanguay bio and stats
And Tanguay, contacted by calgaryflames.com at his home in Quebec following the trade, said he has more to show.
"I don't necessarily think I have shown all my potential," said Tanguay. "I think I have a lot more ability than I have shown. I believe that you come into your prime between 26 and 32 as a hockey player and I am now 26. Personally I don't think I have played up to my potential yet. Hopefully I can come into Calgary and help my teammates."
In 450 career NHL games Tanguay has posted 400 points (137 goals, 263 assists) and 219 penalty minutes.
The Avalanche selected Tanguay in the first round, 12th overall, in the 1998 Entry Draft.
Tanguay is listed as a left winger but can play both wings and is a playmaker. He recorded 54 assists in 2003-04 and has scored 25 or more goals in four of the last five seasons.
And he is more than pumped about coming to Calgary.
"This is an A List team. I am thrilled to be going to a team that won our division last season," said Tanguay. "I am not going to a rebuilding team. This is a team that can win the Stanley Cup right now."
Tanguay was a Stanley Cup champion in Colorado in 2001.
He was also excited about the chance to play with Flames captain Jarome Iginla and goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.
"Jarome, in the playoffs, is one of the best players there is and Miikka is a great goalie," said Tanguay. "Hopefully I can bring my best game to Calgary."
Leopold was a mainstay on the Flames blueline for the past two seasons, recording nine goals and 24 assists in 2003-04 and then adding 10 assists in the run to the Stanley Cup in the spring of 2004. His production slipped somewhat last season as he recorded two goals and 18 assists in 74 games.
He was partnered with Robyn Regehr much of the past two seasons and the pair logged plenty of ice time.
So the old trade cliche applies here: You have to give something good away to get something good in return. The Flames wanted to beef up their offence and the acquisition of a player of Tanguay's calibre can certainly achive that.
Tanguay is a restricted free agent so the Flames will have to sign him to a new contract. He made about $3.2 million US last season in Colorado.
"When they announced I had been traded I was a bit surprised but I am happy. With the reality of them (Colorado) hving so many high-priced players I thought something might happen," said Tanguay.
ALEX TANGUAY FILE
The person he would most like to have dinner with is Tiger Woods...Is an eight handicap and enjoys kayaking and golf in the off-season, which he spends in his native province of Quebec...Organizes a charity golf tournament each summer in his hometown of St. Justine...His boyhood idol was Joe Sakic...Favourite band is U2, favourite television show is 24 and his favourite sports movie is Rudy...Is likely to request No. 18, which he wore in junior and in Colorado. However, he will have to negotiate with Matthew Lombardi, who currently wears No. 18. Tanguay also wore No. 40 in Colorado.