Free Agency Preview: Alex Tanguay

Yeah, that guy.

The Basic Info

Last year the Colorado Avalanche made arguably the worst move at the deadline in principle. Alex Tanguay has been a great solider for the Avs over the years through two stints, and has been an excellent ambassador for the club. And with a young club that's not particularly great, you can expect the team to either keep the experienced asset for the sake of grooming the younger players, or move the player for a younger asset.

Instead, the Avs moved Tanguay for Mikkel Boedker. Boedker is like Tanguay, just worse in a few categories and he has a cool name. Tanguay is a pretty cool last name, in my opinion.

It's June. And we're going through with this. Ladies and gents, the Alex Tanguay preview.

Recent Stats

Here's where Tanguay lands on the "Hero Chart", which compares his numbers over the last three years against the rest of the league:

Tanguay didn't have a great year by his standards. He only tallied 8 goals and 27 assists. A season total of 35 points was his career worst. Not a great sign for a player well into his thirties. Tanguay had 55 points in the prior year, and he did finish this past season on a strong note after the trade to Arizona.

His numbers with the Coyotes: 18 games, 4 goals, 9 assists. Not bad.

For the sake of fun, here are the numbers from our subject as well as the elite remaining players of the Avalanche.

Over the last three years:

Player Games Played w/ Avalanche Goals Assists Relative CF% PP Goals PP Assists ES Scoring Chances +/-
Gabriel Landeskog 245 72 109 +3.99 16 23 -52
Nathan MacKinnon 225 61 102 +3.45 18 20 -78
Matt Duchene 231 74 113 +1.80 14 25 -151
Alex Tanguay 148 30 58 +1.02 2 19 -187
Jarome Iginla 164 51 55 -2.52 21 11 -304

BREAKING: The Avs have been bad as of late.

If you're curious on who Tanguay has played beside, we have answers. Tanguay has played over 2,100 minutes over the last three years.

-632 w/ Jarome Iginla
-533 w/ Gabriel Landeskog
-531 w/ Matt Duchene
-519 w/ Nathan MacKinnon

This includes when MacKinnon was a rookie. He also played 438 minutes beside Ryan O'Reilly. But for every minute he played beside O'Reilly, he also spent 30 seconds beside Dennis Everberg. Tanguay spent his last few years being "the third guy" on a top-six line, or being asked to be the "crafty vet" on a third line.

Where Would He Fit?

There isn't a great answer here. He's mostly a platoon winger that can give you a few games at the top end of the roster.

Because the Avs are bad at the whole "having meaningful possession of the puck" thing, here's something different with Tanguay. First, here's a look at what the team does while he's on the ice:

The numbers are better with Tanguay vs. without Tanguay, which is to be expected of a top-six winger. But notice that the difference is within all three zones as opposed to just one. Here's the shots against the Avs, with and without the presence of Tanguay:

Eh, not great. We can't exactly tout him as a "strong two-way player". And that rules him out for Fisher's line (assuming Mike Fisher is the third line center next year).

Does It Make Sense?

Only in one area: price. Tanguay is a good player, but he's not going to be commanding the attention of the entire NHL. He's also past his prime, so teams looking to build will likely pass on the veteran winger. But there are a few teams that could stand to add a stop-gap for the short term... and one of them could be Nashville. If Calle Jarnkrok is put back into a 2C/3C role, the addition of a player like Tanguay would allow the Preds to avoid rushing Kevin Fiala before he's ready. But that's about the only place he makes sense.

Here's where it really doesn't make sense: predictability. When you buy a product from a retailer, you should have a good idea on how it works and what to expect from it. Coming from the Colorado Avalanche, there isn't enough evidence to instill confidence that he's a good fit. And given that he's 36 years old, he's not an asset that would be easily moved. So unless he opts for the David Poile Discount "Come Rebuild Your Career Here" Contract, it doesn't make any sense for him to be signed by Nashville.

Don't cry for Alex, he might have the option to finish his career in Arizona beside the likes of Dylan Strome, Max Domi, and the young Coyotes... plus plenty of golf with Shane Doan and Steve Sullivan.