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Onward and upward

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames
CALGARY, AB -- Throughout his 11 year career, Alex Tanguay has had his fair share of contract negotiations.

He has played for the Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning and each stop presented new challenges in finding acceptable contract terms for both sides involved.

After six years in Denver, Tanguay was set to become a restricted free agent in July of 2006 but instead renegotiating a deal, the Avs chose to send his rights to the Flames in exchange for Jordan Leopold and two second round draft picks.

During his first stint with the Flames, he agreed to a three-year deal but just after his second season with the club, he was dealt to the Montreal Canadians at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

He started the 2008-09 season in fine fashion in Montreal but was limited to just 50 games after suffering a shoulder injury. The Canadiens choose not to re-sign the winger so Tanguay got his first taste of what it's llke to a free agent.

Signing on for one year with the Lightning, Tanguay's career took a downward turn. His game dropped off and he managed just 10 goals and 37 points through 80 contests. Understandably, both he and the Lightning decided to part ways after the 2009-10 campaign.

He came back to Calgary on a one-year deal, saying he had unfinished business with the club, and performed well beyond anyone's expectations. Through 79 games, he potted 22 goals and 69 points and helped boost linemate Jarome Iginla to his fourth 40+ goal season.

Now that he has a long-term deal in place, he's looking to build upon the success he had last year.

"I had a good season but I think I can improve. Last year, it was just a normal season. I want to rise above that in coming years."

As the clock ticked towards July 1st, many speculated money would be the overriding issue between both sides but Tanguay insists term was a priority that was on par with salary.

"I wasn't expecting five years to be honest with you but I'm very happy with it. My family and I wanted stability, it was very important to us.

"We're looking forward to buying a house and becoming good Calgarians and being a part of the community. That's one of the things we were looking for. We were looking for term on our contract and being able to settle down in Calgary."

With the Flames cap situation already saddled with several no-trade and no-movement clauses, general manager Jay Feaster had to get creative when it came to designing a contract both sides would be satisfied with.

Tanguay has been given a limited no-trade clause in his deal. The winger must submit a list of 10 teams he would agree to be moved to once a season. Feaster likened it to a pre-nuptial agreement and said both sides were very pleased about this facet of the extension.

"Everything was very professional. I was very thankful that as we went through the process, everything went so politely and professionally. We're very happy, my agent and I, with how things went with the Flames."

Follow Torie Peterson on Twitter | @ToriePeterson
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