Tanguay flips his lid

Alex Tanguay could be shipped out of Calgary in the near future. SUN FILE/Darren Makowichuk

Alex Tanguay could be shipped out of Calgary in the near future. SUN FILE/Darren Makowichuk

ERIC FRANCIS -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 3:24 PM ET

Alex Tanguay has had enough.

So has Darryl Sutter.

After days of patiently responding to questions concerning renewed speculation he's being shopped around, the Flames winger finally snapped yesterday.

"What?" asked a disgusted Tanguay when a reporter asked if he hoped to be back with the Flames following the all-star break.

"That's a stupid question. I'm not going to answer that."

Asked about the subject touching a nerve, the always-accommodating Tanguay explained the rampant rumours about his future with the Flames have taken a toll on him.

"I've done the talking about it," said Tanguay, 28, who previously denied reports he waived his no-trade clause.

"Quite frankly it wears on you a little bit. I think I've tried to be as professional as I can be, but right now, I'm sick and tired of answering those questions, and I'm not going to answer them anymore. That's about it."

Tanguay's frustrations boiled over the same day rumours were fueled by a visit from his agent, Bob Sauve, who sat with Sutter in the owners' box during the Flames' morning skate.

"Every agent in North America is in Alberta because of (tonight's CHL Prospect's Game in Edmonton) so if they have clients here, they stopped by to see them," explained Sutter.

"I was in Montreal, Boston and New Jersey scouting last week because we don't play those teams often, so some idiot in the media assumes we're trading Alex Tanguay to Montreal.

"Honest to God, there's about 20 of you guys who cover us really well and about five others who are complete idiots who don't know a thing about it."

So, is Tanguay being shopped?

"What does it matter what I say to you guys, you guys don't believe what I say anyway," said Sutter.

"I say Alex Tanguay is one of the top players in the league and you think 'He's just saying that so he can trade him.' If I say he's a bad player, it's because I can't get rid of him."

Suggestions Tanguay may be on his way out are nothing new.

The media in Montreal have long been dreaming up scenarios in which they can have yet another Francophone whipping boy in Canadiens togs. However, speculation ran rampant on the weekend when TSN's highly respected Pierre McGuire reported Tanguay had agreed to be moved.

McGuire stuck to his guns yesterday.

The move would make sense in some people's eyes because Tanguay's career has been stunted by a second-line role in Calgary and Sutter could use the $5.375 million in cap space next year as he tries to sign Dion Phaneuf and take a wild stab at keeping either Daymond Langkow or Kristian Huselius.

"The two best forwards on our team in everybody's view in the hockey world, by a long shot, are Jarome and Alex -- that is clear," said Sutter.

"The rest is simple. You can't keep everybody."

Tanguay himself has admitted the second-line/penalty-killing role he's been handed doesn't jibe with the amount of money he's paid, and essentially acknowledged he's ripe for a trade.

While some rave about the skill and depth he provides, others suggest the playmaker is eating up valuable cap room and has underperformed.

"Alex Tanguay needs to concentrate on being a $5 million player and playing up to that," said Sutter.

"He's been a great player for us for two years and we're lucky to have him."

How long that luck will continue only Sutter knows.


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