Home is where the heart is

Friday, 20.06.2008 / 11:53 PM / News
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Home is where the heart is
OTTAWA – No-trade clauses exist so that players can control their own destiny and decide where they want to play. That’s why Alex Tanguay is finally coming home.

Reached at his home in Lac Beauport shortly after the trade was announced, Tanguay couldn’t contain his excitement about donning the Canadiens’ sweater.

“I couldn’t be happier about coming to Montreal,” admitted Tanguay, who helped lead the Avalanche to the Stanley Cup in 2001. “With my no-trade clause I could have said no, but I really want to play for the Canadiens. I know how strong a team we have and that I won’t have to be Mario Lemieux or even Guy Lafleur. I hope to contribute to getting this team to the next level.”

Over his eight NHL seasons, Tanguay has amassed 539 points in 609 games with both Calgary and Colorado.  

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“We first made contact with the Flames about two or three weeks ago about this possibility,” confirmed Habs GM Bob Gainey. “We’ve been interested in Alex for some time and approached Calgary about acquiring him back in February. At that point it just was not the right time for either side.

“We’ve brought in a player with a lot of experience who is only 28 years old and will be with us for a long time,” said Gainey. “Alex had a no-trade clause which he decided to lift in order to come to Montreal.”

A native of St-Justine, QC, just one hour from Quebec City, Tanguay’s emotional ties to the Nordiques ran deep, very deep. So much so, that his brother reminded him of exactly that upon hearing news of  the trade.

“My brother reminded me about how our late grandfather was such a huge Nordiques fan,” explained Tanguay. “And then he said that our poor grandfather must be spinning in his grave right now!”

After spending his junior years in Halifax with the Mooseheads and playing in Colorado and then Western Canada, Tanguay will now be playing close to home for the first time in over a decade.

“My wife Helene and I just had a little girl named Maya,” said Tanguay. "it’s now going to be so much easier for people to visit us. I can’t wait to play in front of my friends and family every night.”

Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com