Tuesday, January 22, 2008

 

Flames Game Day: Qu'est-ce qui se passe?


So the latest on Flames trade watch is this:

1) On Saturday night, Darryl Sutter told Elliotte Friedman, roughly, "if we were to trade Tanguay, the return would have to be significant, because I consider him to be one of the top LW in the game."

This strikes me as a strange thing to say if a deal is in the works: (A) because why would you talk up a player you're about to deal and raise the bar re: the return, risking fan/media backlash; and (B) because even when Sutter is essentially honest and straightforward, he hasn't seemed inclined to telegraph his moves.

Further to that, Tanguay told reporters at Sunday's super-skills dealy and at practice yesterday morning that he hasn't waived his No-Trade Clause, nor has he been asked to.

2) Judging by Flames radio last night, the expectation that he'll be dealt is stronger than ever, and the sense of imminence is stronger to boot.

I have no idea what's going on, but smoke, fire, etc.

----------
So on Friday, I did something I've never done before. I sent similar but personal emails to Jean LeFebvre, Eric Duhatschek, Eric Francis, and Bruce Dowbiggin, each with a link to my EV scoring since the lockout post, a brief explanation of what it was about, and a plea (for lack of a better word) that they'd find it interesting -- and by extension, possibly note themselves (for a bigger audience than I have) that Tanguay is a valuable player.

As Andy posted yesterday, LeFebvre did in fact reference my figures in a Calgary Herald piece (ran in the National Post too), and then followed up on his blog as well. So did Eric Francis:
...with Huselius shining on the top line and three key players all in need of new contracts, many argue it's prudent to open up cap space and deal Tanguay. The trick is receiving someone of equal value to the team so the club doesn't sacrifice a potential Cup run this spring for the sake of next year. That is almost impossible given Tanguay is the seventh-most productive even-strength NHLer (based on points and even-strength minutes played) since the lockout.
[...]
Sutter must tread carefully because few players in the league could fill Tanguay's shoes. Saying goodbye to a playmaker isn't as easy or simple as it may appear.

No, it certainly isn't. Also, Duhatschek reminded me that he had written about Tanguay's EV proficiency at the beginning of the season.

It feels somewhat strange to be an active advocate for a particular move (or non-move) rather than a passive one, commenting from 10,000 feet in the air, but on the other hand, what the hell. The data is legit, I care if the Flames do well (hope that's not a surprise to any readers), and I think they'd be worse the rest of this season AND next season if they traded Tanguay away, as mentioned ad nauseam.

[Today's fun fact: I took a spin through some randomly selected Colorado games from '05/06, using Vic's H2H icetime site. You know who Tanguay was piling up the EV points with? You guessed it: Brett Maclean and Ian Laperriere.]

----------
The Flames host Minnesota tonight (7PM MT, RSN West), and (barring a Colorado win) can jump into a (baseball) tie for the division lead. Dunno why their mojo has been so good v. the Wild in the past couple of years, but it has... Calgary 3 (Moss, Iginla, Phaneuf) Minnesota 1 (Mr. Burns). Go Flames.

Comments:

I honestly made my own prediction before reading yours.
 


Good for you, Matt. That being said, I hope Tanguay gets traded. I hear he's soft and only scores because he played with Iginla and Sakic.

GOILERS!!!


p.s. Joking and partisanship aside, I do have a query. I don't read Flames coverage much, except when it appears here, but I wonder if anyone has even hinted at what I think is a likely sub-plot to the Tanguay rumours: the fact that he's Francophone. I mean, looking at your list, an argument can be made that he's the best non-goalie Francophone in the world, and the best player from Quebec not named Brodeur or Luongo. Obviously, because he's from Quebec the Montreal media will write about him coming there. But I wonder how much of the reason he's being written out out of Calgary's plans (including this whole bit about him being a "soft" player), has to do with his heritage? There is at least one other player on the team who has a Francophone background, and he's a pretty popular guy with fans, but that guy "plays tough," and also happens to have been born in Edmonton, not Ste-Justine, QC.

So the question is, am I completely out of line with this thinking? Is this something that is likely affecting people's thinking on this guy, even subconsciously? And if so, has anyone in the MSM brought it up?
 


First of all I am an Oilers fan ... but Matt, I enjoy seeing you get your due and your posts, even though they are about the Flames (hisssssssss), are informative and interesting.

So Matt, you must have Grabia's ear ... do you think you could get him to post about hockey and hockey players again!?

I am so sick of hearing about the effing stadium ... and the ownership change. Leave the millionaires and billionaires to their 'play things'. Lets talk hockey already.
 


But I wonder how much of the reason he's being written out out of Calgary's plans (including this whole bit about him being a "soft" player), has to do with his heritage?

ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz.....
 


So the question is, am I completely out of line with this thinking?

I think so. The reason Tanguay is targeted is because, simply, he has a big cap-hit and his counting numbers aren't that impressive. It seems like basic arithmetic to those who don't look very closely.
 


Honest to God Grabia, that is the dumbest and most irresponsible thing you've written in a long time. I really thought you were better than that.
 


I basically agree with MG, although I think Andy's point holds in a broader sense.

In my experience, kudos for intangibles, quiet effectiveness, etc. go disproportionately to anglos; Francophones and Europeans -- especially if they're labelled as skill players -- are expected to put up gaudy counting numbers.

It's a matter of degrees, though, not massive wholesale bias.
 


I just don't see what the rush to trade him is all about. There is no reason that the Flames could not simply trade Tanguay in the early summer, given his own permission, and still sign either Juice or Langkow. Time would be tight in June to do this, but it could be done.

Considering the Flames will likely be in the running for the division crown until at least April, which would set them up for a decent playoff seed, it seems illogical to trade away a proven, 28-year-old, top-two LW who hasn't been all that bad this season.

That said, QR77's Mark Stephen has mentioned that Tanguay's agent (is it Bob Sauve?) is in town at the moment to chat with Sutter.

So what do I know.
 


Honest to God Grabia, that is the dumbest and most irresponsible thing you've written in a long time. I really thought you were better than that.

Really? Because you know me so well, right? Is this your attempt to now portray me as being anti-Francophone? Because if it is, you are way out of line. As Matt noted, the expectations for Europeans and Francophones have always been different than for Anglophones in the NHL. Anyone can watch Don Cherry every Saturday night and see that. I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest that Tanguay has received an unfair rap about his "toughness" in some small part because he's from Quebec. I do not approve of that rap. In fact, I don't care for it at all.

As always, Mclea, you've attempted to elevate yourself to a status you do not have on this site, or on any other site. I thought you might have figured out by now that you and your comments are not welcome here. Apparently not. If you'd like to share your thoughts further, please give us the url for your outstanding blog. We'd all love to read it.
 


I think so. The reason Tanguay is targeted is because, simply, he has a big cap-hit and his counting numbers aren't that impressive. It seems like basic arithmetic to those who don't look very closely.

Cool, MG. Any ideas on where this "he's soft" stuff comes from, then? I mean, he's not Terry O'Reilly, but...
 


Cool, MG. Any ideas on where this "he's soft" stuff comes from, then? I mean, he's not Terry O'Reilly, but...

Tanguay isn't overly physical a player, but he's also very soft spoken with fans and media. Some people tend to combine those to attributes to form "soft player". I guess I don't see the french=softer angle thing only because it didn't occur to me personally, but God knows it's possible.
 


The only notable accomplishment by the Flames in the first period is Phaneuf breaking 2 panes of glass.
 


Speaking of mojo: Ye Olde Triple Post Play worked on Mr. Burns.
 


I'm really unhappy that Iginla seems to be struggling right now, but on the other hand, I'm happy that we've still won the last three games. We seem to have some scoring depth all of a sudden.
 


i just want to point out that our favorite speedster, lombardi is a montrealer, even if he's not a born francophone.... and it is lombo who i fear was being scouted by montreal brass if aforementioned comments are to be considered...
 


One more pane of glass, and Phaneuf loses his security deposit.
 


Surprised Phaneuf did not win the skills competition...Aucoin wins with a WOODEN stick?!?

...or is it cheap glass?

I am sure Sutter is going to take it out of Phaneuf's next paycheck
 


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