Tanguay happy to finally be a Hab

PIERRE DUROCHER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:08 AM ET

LAC-BEAUPORT -- Former Calgary Flames winger Alex Tanguay will meet his new Montreal Canadiens team- mates for the first time today -- on the golf course.

"I'm really looking forward to training camp", he rejoiced.

"This is the most mythical hockey team. I feel like a baseball player that just got traded to the New York Yankees.

"Twice last season I asked the Flames to trade me, and Montreal was on my wish list both times," he said, vowing to carve a permanent niche for himself in his home province.

"I'm 28 and this is my ninth NHL season, so I'm very happy to be here."

Tanguay acknowledges he ran into trouble last year in Calgary with a meagre production of 58 points (18 goals, 40 assists), down from 78 and 81 points tallies during his two previous seasons.

Coach Mike Keenan used him on a defensive line with Craig Conroy and Owen Nolan which did not please him at all.

"I thought they traded for me from Colorado because I could generate offence," Tanguay said with a bitter smile.

"I was in that sort of a situation for the first time in my career and it was tough.

"I felt out of place in their system and that's why I wanted to leave Calgary and that I waived the no-trade clause (in my contract)".

Tanguay, however, refused to voice any negative comments about Flames head coach Mike Keenan, other than saying he could be "difficult."

The six-foot-one Tanguay will need a big year with Montreal.

This is the last season of a three-year contract he signed with the Flames for $5,375,000, so he will become a free agent next summer.

"I feel comfortable with this because I fully intend to prove the team management was right to give away a draft choice to acquire my contract", he said.

"If my season is as good as expected, everything is going to fall in place".

Meanwhile, Tanguay will try to make new friends and impress his new teammates on the links of the Laval-sur-le-Lac golf course today in the Canadiens annual tournament.

With a four handicap, he could be off to a good start.


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