The word is that Alex Tanguay’s agent has contacted Penguins management on behalf of his client – hat in hand, one supposes, given that over a month of free agency has passed and the 29-year-old winger still hasn’t inked a new pact anywhere.
Tanguay and the Penguins will be a no-go unless Tanguay is willing to play for minimum wage (500K) or a little better.
That seems highly unlikely given Tanguay’s $5.375m salary last season. Some crap team desperate for scoring will ultimately give Tanguay a better deal than he deserves.
Tanguay had just 16 goals with Montreal last season, his campaign shortened to 50 games by a shoulder injury. He had 18 goals the year before, 22 the year before that (although he added 59 assists to produce a career-high 81 points).
Tanguay is highly skilled. But Rocket Richard, he ain’t. He’s a bit soft. He’d be a decent fit with Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. But he wouldn’t be a perfect fit.
It’s a shame Tanguay’s agent didn’t initiate discussion with GM Ray Shero a bit closer to July 1, when there was more cap room. Tanguay was never going to get big dough in Pittsburgh, but now he would have to financially embarrass himself to come here.
Barring, of course, a trade to open up cap room. But Shero won’t move anyone significant.
Penguins fans seem to think that ditching Pascal Dupuis is a good idea. I’m not so sure. At $1.4m, Dupuis is affordable. He can play any role, skate on any line 1 through 4 and not miss a beat.
Dupuis will never fill the net, but he gets a lot of shots on target and his speed and forechecking are a big help when he skates with Sid or Geno.
Heck, Dupuis had just three less goals than Tanguay last season while supplying a lot more grit for a lot less money.
Tanguay should have been begging Shero to sign him on July 1. He should have seen the chance to skate with Crosby or Malkin as a chance to jump-start his career and get bigger bucks down the line.
Instead, he’s trying to use the Penguins as a last resort. It’s almost insulting.
Max Talbot’s injury does open up a space on the Pens’ top two lines, however. It’s worth noting that Penguins management does not see Talbot as a long-term answer on the top two lines, nor should they.
But Malkin likes skating with Talbot, and that goes a long way.
Mark Madden hosts a radio show 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WXDX-FM (105.9).