The enigma that is Alex Tanguay has still not found a place to play this summer, remaining an unrestricted free agent for the time being.
Tanguay has been a sketchy player since leaving Colorado for Calgary in 2006. It was really hard to guess what the problem was in Calgary, but a lot of fingers pointed at the defensive system that was employed in the Sutter years. His move to Montreal last summer was met with some cautious optimism, but an injury-plagued year really seems to have put a damper on his reputation this summer.
Tanguay finished the 2009 regular season playing only 50 games, scoring 16 goals and 25 assists. He missed 28 games due to a separated shoulder, which also seemed to bother him in the playoffs, missing two games in the Spring.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that he is being courted to some degree by teams, but you can understand why some teams are hesitant to show him the big dollars he once commanded. A 58-point season followed by a 41-point season is hardly worth the big dollars he was making in his high-scoring days.
The Minnesota Wild have been one of those teams linked with Tanguay over the past couple weeks, which would make for an interesting combination possibility with Martin Havlat and/or Mikko Koivu, who are both somewhat known to be injury-fodder as well. If they were all to be healthy, they would make up a slick offensive line, which would be hard to gauge at the beginning of the season.
The Wild have some cap space left, but I'm sure that they don't want to burn it all on one player before camp. They are currently sitting with a projected line-up of 21 players at $52.2 million. I estimated Tanguay's cap value at $4.5 million in July, but now that we're at the end of August, there could be a time discount, as he hasn't picked up any big bites at that price. Now, I would expect him to sign for around $3.5 million.
The Lightning have also been named in the Tanguay sweeps (of sorts), but they had quieted down as the Wild came up through the weeds. The Lightning have plenty of room for Tanguay, if they wanted to pick him up, but the organization likely can't agree on whether or not to actually sign him. I would have to think that Tanguay would be a good compliment to players like Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis or even Steven Stamkos. A smooth skater and playmaker, like Tanguay, would have three capable goal scorers to possibly play with.
As of right now, the Lightning only have 18 players projected to be in their line-up at a cap hit of $41.8 million.