Alex Tanguay's shoulders (surgically repaired and otherwise) will be scrutinized by the Lightning
Alex Tanguay said he probably came back from his left shoulder injury too quickly last season. You remember that, don't you? Tanguay, then a member of the Canadiens sustained a separated left shoulder from a hit by then-Lightning forward Evgeny Artyukhin. The hit was so big, it shattered some glass at the St. Pete Times Forum.
Tanguay missed 32 regular-season games and two of Montreal's four playoff games. While that injury healed on its own, Tanguay also had arthoscopic surgery on his right shoulder in April to ensure his readiness for next season. He said the doctor found a partially torn labrum.
The shoulders will be the Tampa Bay Lightning's main focus on Tuesday during Tanguay's physical. If all is found in order, the Lightning will sign the left wing to a one-year contract.
"I saw the doctor four weeks ago in Colorado, so I expect everything is normal," Tanguay said. "We'll see (Tuesday) what the doctor says, but I'm not expecting anything. I've got myself ready to go."
Tanguay, who was in town Monday looking for houses (I guess everyone is sure he's going to pass this physical) also said he is "hungry" to start next season.
"I have a lot to prove, for sure," he said. "That's why I took this opportunity. It's a very good opportunity for me to get back to the level I'm capable of."
What else is on Tanguay's mind? He took some time from house-hunting to give us some insight.
Why the Lightning? "We looked at many different options, and I looked at this team and the opportunity I'm going to be given here, it's a good opportunity for me to help the team and help myself and get back to the level of which I want to play. ... When you look at Vinny and Marty St. Louis and Steven Stamkos and Ryan Malone, and the rest of the team, I'm excited. This is a good team. This is a team that last year didn't do as well as perhaps it should have. But I'm excited to join the organization. And I know (coach) Rick Tocchet). I had him in Colorado. I know he's a good coach and I believe in the way he coaches. I believe in his philosophy."
On re-establishing his credentials after a down year: "I have a lot to prove, for sure, and that's why I took this opportunity. It's a very good opportunity for me to get back to the level I'm capable of. I want to be playing healthy I think I've always been a guy throughout my career that my teammates liked to play with because I obviously like to pass the puck a lot and I work hard, so that's my whole philosophy here. I'm coming here to help."
Does it matter with whom he plays? "I don't know who the coach wants to use me with, but whoever he wants to play me with, I'll be working my hardest to try my best to get this team to the playoffs. I think this team is very capable of getting to the playoffs, and we can be surprising. I think we're capable of a lot of good things next year."
On the story line that he is here to help Vinny Lecavalier rebound: "I think it's fun. My first few years in Colorado, I played for the most part with Joe Sakic, and for two or three years after that, I played with Peter Forsberg, so I'm accustomed to playing with guys that are expected to put up big numbers, and I think I'm capable of doing that myself. Whether it's Vinny, whether its Marty or Steven Stamkos or Ryan Malone, those players are capable of putting points on the board. Whoever the organization and the coaching staff sees me fit best with, and will think I will help the team most, whoever I'm playing with, I think we'll be able to put points on the board."