The Arizona Coyotes dealt Mikkel Boedker to the Colorado Avalanche today, and received three players in return. Of the three, only one is likely to skate with the team for the full season. So let's meet the 12th overall pick in the 1998 NHL Draft: Alex Tanguay.
Meet Alex Tanguay
The native of Sainte-Justine, Quebec has been a Western Conference regular for most of his career. Tanguay played five seasons with the Avalanche after being drafted in 1998 before his negotiating rights were dealt to the Calgary Flames. He would play two seasons in Calgary before he was dealt in the same fashion to the Montreal Canadiens in 2008.
After a season in Montreal and Tampa Bay each, Tanguay returned to Calgary. In that three year stretch, Tanguay was plagued by injury issues that prevented him from playing a full season. He was traded to the Colorado Avalanche in 2013, where he played up until today.
From a pure production standpoint, Tanguay is a step back. He only has four goals and 18 assists this year, to Boedker's 13 goals and 26 assists. But a deeper look suggests this is not nearly as much of a drop off as it seems.
In practically every statistical category, Tanguay is actually an upgrade over Boedker. He's also just one year removed from a 22 goal, 33 assist season with the Avs. So what explains his paltry production this year?
Tanguay's shooting percentage is 8.2% this season, which is more than half of his career average 18.6% rate. Granted, shooting percentages tend to diminish as players age, but they don't normally fall off a cliff. Tanguay has definitely run into some bad luck this season.
Alex Tanguay's inclusion in this deal is likely more of a salary balancing move. He is under contract for $3.5M this season, which is slightly less than Boedker's $3.75M hit, and he will be an unrestricted free agent at season's end. And at 36 years old, he will be a good veteran presence in the locker room who can help Arizona's young forwards deal with the grind of the end of the season now that Arizona's playoff chances are all but eliminated.
So Tanguay is not a bad piece to receive in return, especially since the two prospects Arizona acquired are likely of far more interest to General Manager Don Maloney. For now, Arizona got a little older and a little more snake bit up front.