Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tanguay Spares Wild

The Tanguay Sweepstakes, so to speak, is over. The winger signed with the Bolts, in what at least Russo feels was a foregone conclusion. The combination of top 2 line minutes, arguably better linemates, and, perhaps, more money, was just too much to pass up. Not that I blame him. That and taking away his ability to score on the Wild in bunches - by signing with them - would have been a bad career move.

Personally, I say: good. We didn't need another softish, playmaking winger. We need finishers. We also need to keep the kids on whom the success - or lack thereof - of this season may well depend enthused heading into camp. The way to do that is to make them feel like there are jobs available to compete for - not that Fletcher is happy to fill them up like, well, his predecessor.

And keeping the cap space open was a good call too.

So, we are probably looking at the roster that we'll go into camp with. I'm okay with that. Is it all-world on paper? Absolutely not. I'm not even suggesting it'll be all-world on the ice. Far from it. But it represents solidification of vision by the GM (and, one assumes, the coach) which is an immediate improvement, in mentality if not on-ice skill. And it's certainly no worse than it was last season.



KiPA - Kevin in PA said...

I wouldn't have minded him on the Penguins, but he in all probability would've been slotted with Malkin, who's more of a goal scorer than Crosby, so Tanguay's playmaking would've been more useful. Would've been a good fit I think.

As for the Wild, I think he was probably an upgrade for their top six. Good point about keeping the cap space open, and him not signing isn't the worst thing that could've happened. I think he probably would've helped more than hurt, but nor was he the missing piece.

KiPA - Kevin in PA said...

As for Russo's thoughts on Sykora: If you thought Tanguay was soft, wait til you get a look at Sykora. Unless he plays like he did in his one Final appearance, you'll think Bouchard is a venerable power forward.

Sykora's got a long streak of 20+ goals annually, but I think his skills are in more than a steady decline. He could've gotten a lot more goals the last two years, I think, if his reflexes, speed or hands were better. There's a reason he didn't play much in the playoffs. He might've been hurt, but he ended the season with something like one or two goals in the final 17 games. Playing with Malkin. One school of thought was that he was pouting that he lost top power play time when Kunitz and Guerin were brought on board.

He doesn't create his own shot, though it will still be potent, but he's not going to battle in the corners or in front of the net. When he wasn't scoring for us, he wasn't doing anything.

Nick in New York said...

KiPA: agreed he's TALENTED enough to comfortably play on Minny's TOP line, nevermind top two lines. But he just isn't the right fit IMO. He'd be passing to guys that may or may not be able to benefit from his dishes...the question to me would be: is a 7-25-32 season enough for him (worst case scenario, assuming he's healthy) if we aren't able to give him adequate line mates?

Let that be Tampa's problem, as a Wild fan I'm fine with that.

KiPA - Kevin in PA said...

Where do you get the 7-25-32 line?

Nick in New York said...

made it up

KiPA - Kevin in PA said...

Ha. Got it.

His production last year (41 pts in 50 games on a trainwreck Montreal squad) was fairly solid.

You might be right, that Tanguay isn't a good fit. Would he slot in on the top line with Koivu and Havlat? Certainly he wouldn't fit with Bouchard. Who is projected to be the other first line winger?

Nick in New York said...

Keep in mind: I'm of the opinion that I'd prefer the team puts out a solid, honest effort....but ends up in a lottery position this season. I think the pros for NOT signing him (cap space, give kids a chance, etc) outweighed the pros OF signing him (he's a top 6 player on the Wild, easily), and the chance that we might not have complementary line mates for him is just the last nail in the coffin for me.

Nick in New York said...

also, just having to say that ALEX TANGUAY is a top six player on your team tells you that your team probably isn't going very far. So why push the cap limit to get him?

KiPA - Kevin in PA said...

That's kind of harsh against Tanguay. What all is wrong with him? He's had four seasons of 75+ points, four of 25+ goals, a few 50-assist seasons. He's notched 580 points in 659 games.

I understand all your points (the cap space, the inappropriate linemates, letting kids play, though I do wonder which kids you refer to) but who's a better top-six forward, Tanguay or Antti Miettinen?

I'll also say this in support of your viewpoint: It doesn't make much sense for the Wild to sign Tanguay for one season. He wouldn't push Minnesota over the top, and if the money spent on him could go to someone for a longer term, then passing on Tanguay is likely the wiser move.

Nick in New York said...

KiPA: I wasn't really dissing Tanguay as much as the Wild - essentially what you said in your last para. He would not push the Wild over the top. He's a good 2nd liner in my opinion, and a reach on the top line on a contending team. On the Wild he's arguably the 1st line setup wing man. Because of that, I think Fletcher chose wisely keeping his powder dry in this case.

KiPA - Kevin in PA said...

Ah, I misunderstood. Yeah, he's a good second-line guy and I think he could work on the top unit for a contender, but emphasis on 'could.' Depends who his mates are.

All in all, yeah, it might be a good thing the Wild didn't sign Tanguay, but it wouldn't necessary have been a bad move if they had.