Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Une reve en Montreal

Une rumeur enverrait Alex Kovalev à Calgary en retour d'Alex Tanguay. Serait-ce une bonne transaction pour le Canadien?

That's the poll on the front page of this morning. 69% say "Oui", and I'm not sure what kind of drogues the other 31% are fume-ing. As noted by Spector, during the RDS telecast of the Habs game last night, Yves Pednault reported that
the Canadiens and Calgary Flames might be talking about a swap of Alex Kovalev for Alex Tanguay. Scouts from the Calgary Flames were apparently in attendance, possibly to scout Kovalev, who used to play for Flames head coach Mike Keenan in New York and Keenan could be interested in bringing him to Calgary. Tanguay is supposedly unhappy playing for Keenan and is said to have recently missed an important team meeting.

Hmmm... the Quebec media is somewhat notorious for grasping at anything, real or imagined, when it comes to the possibility of a good French-Canadian player coming to Montreal, so I'm going to assume there's nothing to this, but a few things here:

1) I'm not sure how many of those qualifiers are Spector's and how many were in the original report, but I count "might be", "apparently", "possibly", "could be", "supposedly", and "said to have" -- six is a lot for one paragraph.

2) Mike Keenan is not the Flames' General Manager

3) Let's say, for the sake of argument, that Keenan and Tanguay already hate each other, and their relationship is destroyed. Try to imagine what Keenan's problems with Tanguay are: the reasonable guess is something in the effort/character/grit family. Now make a list of NHL players who would be a clear improvement in this regard. Is Alexei Kovalev in your Top 400? Me neither.

4,5,6,7, etc.) Kovalev sucks! He's averaged a point-per-game twice in his 14 NHL seasons (the last being 2001-02). He makes almost as much money as Tanguay, and his contract runs for just as long (expires after next season). He's almost 7 years older than Tanguay. These are the numbers they averaged over the past 3 years:
I think this trade is only plausible from the Flames' standpoint if Montreal throws in a prospect, and the prospect's name is Carey Price. That would solve problems for both teams: Montreal gets someone who can produce 5v5 (and gets rid of an overpaid problem), which they desperately need, and Calgary gets a good goalie for the two seasons after this one for less than $7M/yr, which they don't have available.

UPDATE: A commenter in a thread says that a Montreal radio station had the rumour differently; it was Tanguay for Guillaume Latendresse, Steve Begin, and Garth Murray. Oh, well in that case! Any time you can pick up three healthy scratches for a guy like Tanguay, you gotta make that deal, right?


But Matt,

Tanguay is french-canadian, as is therefore apt to be included in a Habs trade rumour at least once a year. absurd rumor, any way you slice it.

Falmes fans had better get used to stuff like this.... which is exactly why there was much cackling from the North when they hired Keenan. Have a great season!

Anytime you can get quantity back for quality, it is a can't miss deal.

I knew you'd show up, K-Lo! I'll pass your advice on to Darryl Sutter.

The Flames do need more centres...

Un reve _A_ Montreal and not EN.

Anyways, please take Kovalev, we don't want heartless european players who don't give a shit about the context in which they play.

i.e. Most glorious Hockey team that ever existed.

My favorite story about Kovalev is how he used to refuse to come off the ice when he was supposed to. So Keenan (this is all when they were both with the Rangers) left him on for about four minutes, refusing to let him come to the bench. It apparently solved the problem.

Anyway, Flames fans should look for Stephane Matteau and Brian Noonan to soon join the team...

Flames fans should look for Stephane Matteau and Brian Noonan

I'm hoping for Adam Graves, those BoA's would have even more bite. By the way, whats Messier up to?

I'll say this for Klee: For all the mess that's gone on in Atlanta, he actually hasn't been half bad.

As a Montreal resident, I can tell you that this kind of ridiculous speculation is something we hear at least 3 times a week.

As a straight-up trade, this is a non-starter, but it could have some traction if the Habs want to sweeten the deal.

The only thing more ridiculous than the Kovalev for Tanguay trade is the speculation about which prospect could accompany Kovalev. To even mention the name Carey Price is absolutely absurd. The only person the Habs would trade Price for is Sidney Crosby. That's how good they think this guy is (they may be right).

I can, however, see them adding someone like Maxim Lapierre, Matt D'Agostini and Jaroslav Halak from the farm club. Both are good enough to play in the NHL, but Gainey insists on keeping perpetual bench warmer like Garth Murray instead.

If Keenan can get Bryan Allen for Roberto Luongo, Lord knows what he can get for Alex Tanguay.

You're joking about Price, right?


Unless the Alex you think you're trading is Oveckin.

Seriously, Tanguay for Kovalev seems like a very stupid deal on Cgy's part but the idea of Price going back the other way, it just doesn't seem like you'd write.

It wasn't a serious proposal, but I wouldn't say I was "joking" -- I was making a point. Tanguay is an asset (player who earns a big contract), Kovalev is a liability (player who doesn't). If you're trying to balance out that trade, something needs to go with Kovalev that's an asset *greater* than Tanguay, right? Kovalev at $4.5M/yr until 2009 has negative trade value, wouldn't you say? (The Cloutier situation, but not quite as severe).

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