SUN Hockey Pool

Tanguay taking Iggy 101

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:58 AM ET

Alex Tanguay hopes he's a quick study.

He was so excited to become a Calgary Flame this summer, he went straight to work learning the nuances of Jarome Iginla's game.

"I'm very excited. I think we could be a very good match," said a beaming Tanguay at the Saddledome yesterday.

"He's one of the premier power forwards in the league. He's got a lot of speed, he's got a great scoring touch. For those of you guys who don't know me, I like to pass the puck, so I'll make sure I give it to him in a good situation."

Tanguay, a left-winger who is expected to be on the top line with Iginla when the regular season begins Oct. 5 in Edmonton, talked to coaches and even watched some tape of the Flames captain in action.

"Every player has tendencies and spots where they like to hang out. Especially a great shooter like him," said Tanguay, who netted

29 goals and 78 points in 71 games with the Colorado Avalanche last season.

"I wanted to get ready a little bit before. You have to come prepared physically and mentally heading into camp. That was part of the homework I had to do.

"I'm sure we'll get a better feel for each other on the ice once we start playing with one another."

Iginla was just as giddy to hear a premier passer say he's eager to set him up.

"I like to shoot the puck, I'm not going to lie, so it's exciting to hear he'll be passing it," said Iginla with a grin. "But I plan on getting him a few back -- return some favours, too."

Since the Flames acquired Tanguay at the draft for blueliner Jordan Leopold, some have wondered how the 26-year-old will fit in with the defensive-minded Northwest Division champs.

Tanguay doesn't see any reason he can't thrive.

"A lot of people have mentioned that this team is a little bit more defensive than what

I used to have but I remember the year we won the Stanley Cup in Colorado," he said.

"Stephane Yelle was with us. People don't realize how good we were defensively. I think your defence should only help your offence and that's the way I'm looking at the style here.

"I don't think your defence should restrict your offence. The better you play defensively, the more you're going to have the puck."

Born in St. Justine, Que., Tanguay played centre for the Halifax Mooseheads in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League before converting to the wing as a pro. While GM and then-head coach Darryl Sutter said a move back to the middle was a possibility, Tanguay says he's more comfortable on the left side.

"I haven't played a lot of centre. It's gonna be a coach's decision," said Tanguay. "I don't mind trying. I'm obviously more comfortable on the wing 'cause that's where I played the last seven years."

Tanguay will wear his old No. 40 when he takes the ice today for the first time. He sported No. 18 with the Avs last year but hasn't asked Matthew Lombardi to swap.

"I haven't even asked for it," said Tanguay. "(No. 40) is the number I won the Stanley Cup with so hopefully it'll bring me luck again."


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