Marty Biron to the Rangers was first. Sergei Gonchar(notes) to the Senators was the biggest, so far. And Alex Tanguay(notes) to the Calgary Flames is, by far, the most mocked move of the NHL Free-Agent Frenzy for three reasons:
1. His productivity is in decline, with his ill-fitting 37-point performance for the Tampa Bay Lightning being the worst output of his career. Thus, his salary ($2.5 million in 2009-10) has been reduced to $1.7 million in Calgary (via TSN).
2. He has a no-movement clause, according to RDA. Since thousands have already made the joke that no one would want him anyway, we'll just let it hang in the air that Alex Tanguay may have a no-trade clause.
3. Media reaction to the move has ranged from misguiding nostalgia, as Tanguay had an 81-point season in 2006-07 with Calgary, to snide disbelief, like this line from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune: "So Flames GM Darryl Sutter, who's job was reportedly in peril, gives a no-move to Tanguay as his first move today? Well done."
Honestly, it's not all that bad a gamble. Stick him with Iggy, see if he can recapture something. And it's not exactly a cap-crushing contract.
The other Flames news Thursday is the rumor creeping around the NHL that the Flames are coveting Boston Bruins center Marc Savard(notes), who previously had a bitter split with the franchise. From Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com:
There are several Western Conference teams actively discussing the playmaking center and several sources insist that "nobody should be surprised if Savard ends up in a place people aren't expecting."
That would seem to indicate there's just as much interest in Savard moving along from Boston as the club alleviating the surplus of centers on the roster headed into the free agency period. Hockey sources say there's plenty of hockey chatter about a Robyn Regher-for-Savard deal sending the pivot to the Flames, but one source with knowledge of Calgary's offseason strategy didn't see that as a possibility.
One source did all but rule out a return to Calgary for Savard as had been whispered about in some circles, saying "I would doubt it" when presented with a Savard-to-Calgary scenario.
The Flames have clearly been opening up some payroll for ... something.