Thursday, October 18, 2007

Trade rumour: Tanguay for Kovalev

Gotta love the French media here in Montreal. They wait just 5 games before they begin the annual pot-stirring competition between the various media outlets in their effort to sell papers or draw in listeners. And yes, the truth and common sense are always the first casualties in their constant effort to one-up each other.

Enter Yvon Pednault with his annual self-generated rumours that always involve French speaking players coming to Montreal. This time he claimed scouts were here from Calgary to take a look at Alex Kovalev though nobody and I mean nobody can confirm if any scouts from the Flames were actually present. Of note, The Habs don't even play the Flames this year while Florida doesn't play them until December 11th.

As for Tanguay, Pednault claimed he missed a team meeting (Calgary media seems to have missed that nugget) and was unhappy with coach "Iron" Mike Keenan. He also tried to add legitimacy to the idea by suggesting that Keenan would like to have Kovalev who he coached in New York way back in the 93-94 when they won the Stanley Cup.

Upon hearing the rumour, Tanguay had this to say in a interview with The Calgary Sun:

"I'm not planning on wasting any time on that at all," he said. "I'm here with the Flames, and I think when they brought me here they wanted me to help the team, and as far as I know, it's still the plan."

"I'm very happy where I'm at. Who wouldn't want to be playing on a line with Jarome Iginla and Craig Conroy and on a team that's got Miikka Kiprusoff in net?"

Enough said. This rumour certainly has no basis in fact from the Calgary end and is just wishful thinking from the French media... as usual.

Now, I'm sure I wasn't alone in wondering what the heck the Flames were thinking by bringing in Mike Keenan to begin with. Keenan has never lasted more than 3 years as coach of any team in his NHL career and is notorious for striping his teams of their young players and prospects in trades to bring in aging vets in an effort to win immediately... even if it cripples the team for years to come. Only St. Louis managed to stay competitive post Mike Keenan while Philadelphia, Chicago, New York Rangers, Vancouver, Boston & Florida all suffered.

With a team that must continue to develop it's own prospects to be able to afford and keep it's best players, Mike Keenan will surely have a negative affect before goes. Don't be surprised if Kristian Huselius get pushed out but no matter what, changes are coming to Calgary with 8 players due to become UFAs next July, a group led by Mikka Kiprusoff.

One look at the Habs and it's easy to see the need is for snipers with size, not more playmakers. Of course Tanguay would look good in Montreal but Calgary has no reason to trade him. With Mike Ryder ($2.95 Million) due to become a UFA and the constant negative focus on Alex Kovalev ($4.5 Million), one or both will likely be included in any deal to add offensive punch to the lineup.

Who is a realistic target? Marian Hossa. IF and only IF he would agree to a long-term contract. As rental, the cost would be far too high. Failing that, If I were Bob Gainey I'd be kicking the tires in Columbus about Rick Nash.

Tanguay? It's a non-starter and deep down Yvon Pednault knows it.