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Numbers Game: Canadiens get Tanguay

Scott Cullen
6/21/2008 1:07:24 PM
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A trade that had been rumoured at times last season was consummated on draft day between the Montreal Canadiens and the Calgary Flames.

Numbers Game looks at the Habs' acquisition of Alex Tanguay.

The Canadiens Get: LW Alex Tanguay and a fifth-round pick

Tanguay, 28, is coming off a down season in Calgary with his 18 goals and 58 points representing his lowest totals since 2001-2002, but he has been among the most productive left wingers in the NHL, topping 70 points four times in his eight NHL seasons.

His combination of speed and skill makes Tanguay an immediate upgrade to Montreal's group of scoring forwards and he should be able to better his production with the Canadiens' attacking offensive style.

Tanguay is entering the final year of a contract that will pay him $5.375-million next season, so he should be well motivated to produce in Montreal and his presence in Montreal gives the Canadiens a lot of scoring depth up front.

On a public relations level, it also never hurts the Canadiens to have a French-Canadian star.

With their fifth-round pick, the Habs drafted Maxim Trunev, a Russian winger who has been playing in the lower levels of Russian hockey.

The Flames Get: A first-round pick and a second-round pick in 2009

Using the 25th overall selection, the Flames drafted Greg Nemisz, a power forward playing with Windsor of the Ontario Hockey League.  Going 6-foot-3, 197 pounds and producing 34 goals and 67 points in 68 games, Nemisz has potential as a scoring winger, but it should be a couple of seasons before he is ready for the NHL.

The second-round pick in 2009 has some value too.

In the last 20 years, more than 100 players taken in the second round have established NHL careers, meaning there is at least some chance of the pick panning out, with the upside being of some recent second-round picks like Patrice Bergeron, Derek Roy, Jason Pominville, Shea Weber and Mike Cammalleri.

The loss of Tanguay is somewhat mitigated by the Flames' trade for Cammalleri, which will get covered in its own Numbers Game article.

Given that Tanguay did not appear to be a good fit with Flames head coach Mike Keenan, the Flames did a decent job acquiring assets in return for a player who had to waive his no-trade clause just to make the trade happen.

In the end, though, the Canadiens immediately upgraded their team; the right move for a contending team with a lot of prospects already in the organization.

Scott Cullen can be reached at scullen@tsn.ca

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