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Tanguay hopeful for future in Calgary

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames
CALGARY, AB -- As the Calgary Flames season comes to a close, one of the biggest issues they face is resigning some of their key free agents.

Alex Tanguay tops that list and while the winger wasn't sure what his future holds, he would like another opportunity to stay with the team.

"I like the situation here. I like the city. I like the team. I like the players that I play with. I'm hoping that things work out."

Tanguay has yet to enter into contract negotiations with the organization but is hopeful both sides can reach a deal before the free agency market opens on July 1.

"We talked after the game (on Saturday) and I've had some meetings with Jay this morning and with some of the owners. They said they'd like to have back but I understand ... I've been in the League long enough to know it's a business.

"I told you guys many times I like my situation here. I came back for that reason last summer, to get back to playing at a level I thought I was capable of playing at. To do that, you need to have an opportunity and I certainly had a great opportunity this year. I'm very thankful for the Flames for giving me that opportunity."

Tanguay took a pay cut over the summer when he signed in Calgary. When asked if he would consider doing that once again, his answer was immediate.

"Absolutely. You're always looking for stability and a great situation, whether it's for your family, whether it's for your career. Stuff like that. As you guys know, anybody in the world would do that. But it is a business and if you go grocery shopping at a store and it costs you twice as much for groceries, for the same product, what are you going to do? You're going to go to the other place."

The veteran came into the season with a one-year deal, looking to rebound from off seasons in Montreal and Tampa Bay. While most expected a bounce-back campaign from Tanguay, no one predicted he would close out the year as the team's second leading scorer.

Over 79 games, Tanguay put up 22 goals and 69 points. His output was crucial to the Flames season turnaround in December and he was counted upon night after night to put up points.

Tanguay credited his coaching staff, particularly Brent Sutter, for his incredible performance.

"I've had a good relationship with Brent. I think he's been giving me a chance from day one and I've worked extremely hard to help him out. I have a really good relationship with him. I have a very high esteem of his coaching ability."

His partnership with captain Jarome Iginla also played a key role in his resurgence. The duo didn't coming flying out of the gate with immediate chemistry but as the season wore on, they gelled and became one of the top producing pairs in the NHL.

"It took a little bit at the start to build chemistry. I thought that when I was coming back the first few months, we were maybe searching for each other too much. Forcing the issue a little too much. But at the end we just played. I have very good chemistry with Jarome. He's a very easy guy to play (with). I know exacly what he's going to do and what he's going to do and where he likes the puck.

"They don't come like that too often. He's an outstanding player. It's been fun playing with him, a lot of fun."

After Saturday's game, Iginla admitted he may do some prodding over the next couple months in hopes of getting Tanguay resigned.

"I'm going to try. I imagine a lot of guys are going to try. I know the team has tough decisions. He's had a great season," Iginla said. "I'm hoping ... I've really enjoyed playing with him.

"Hopefully we get the opportunity to play together again and be better next year."
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