Daymond Langkow

Tanguay helped sell Iginla on Colorado


Jarome Iginla’s had a little bit of help in choosing to sign with the Colorado Avalanche this summer.

According to L.A. Lariviere of TVA Sports (link in French), former Calgary Flames and soon-to-be Avalanche teammate Alex Tanguay helped convince Iginla Denver was the place to be. Here’s a poorly translated quote from the story:

“A week before, Joe Sakic (vice-president of hockey operations) called me,” Tanguay said. “He asked me Jarome’s phone number. They asked me to call him to sell the merits of Colorado. It was not difficult!”

Tanguay and Iginla were teammates in Calgary for two seasons from 2006-2008 and they worked together as part of a dynamic top line with Daymond Langkow. In Colorado, they figure to be more the veteran leaders on a team that’s relatively young and talented.

Iginla’s three-year, $16 million contract after coming off a 30-goal season with the Boston Bruins puts him in a bigger position to help out right away. Tanguay, on the other hand, dealt with injury trouble last season and played just 16 games.

Getting to play alongside Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon, Ryan O’Reilly, and Gabriel Landeskog probably had a lot to do with Tanguay’s sales pitch. Having Patrick Roy as coach and Sakic running the show doesn’t hurt either.

Chicago’s other missing link: A second line center


When you look up and down the Chicago Blackhawks’ roster, it’s one oozing with talent. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, Duncan Keith, and Brent Seabrook.

While we’ve talked about how goalie is one weakness for them, another one is hidden in plain view. They need a solid No. 2 center.

Last season they used Kane and Sharp up the middle to try and balance out their highly talented top two lines and while Kane got a shot to stay there, it ultimately ended with a thud. Both Kane and Sharp are clearly more comfortable on the wing.

Dave Bolland is a guy who excels as a center but he’s a third line guy with his defensive ability. When you consider the rumor involving Bolland being dangled to Vancouver for Roberto Luongo, the one thing stopping that from making total sense is the gaping hole in the middle it would leave for the Blackhawks.

When you look at Chicago’s farm system, there’s one guy with the potential to maybe help on the second line in Brandon Pirri, but he still needs more AHL seasoning.

Without much help left in free agency (Daymond Langkow? Jason Arnott?) the Blackhawks might have to swing a deal if they’re going to improve the second line center spot. With how Stan Bowman has played it cool in the past, don’t expect a big shakeup.

Rangers sign Taylor Pyatt: two years, $3.1 million


The New York Rangers have again dipped into the free agency pool, signing former Phoenix Coyotes forward Taylor Pyatt to a two-year, $3.1 million deal.

The contract has an average annual value of $1.55 million, a nice bump over the $1 million Pyatt made annually on his last deal.

The 30-year-old had spent the last three seasons in the desert, highlighted by a 2010-11 campaign that saw him score 18 goals and average 15:30 of ice time. Pyatt seemed to fall out of favor last year though, as his goal production was cut in half and his average time on ice dropped to 12:19 per game.

Originally drafted eighth overall in 1999, Pyatt has spent time with the Islanders, Sabres, Canucks and Coyotes during his 11-year career.

The most curious development might not be what this signing means for the Rangers, but rather the Coyotes. Phoenix has now seen Pyatt, Ray Whitney (Dallas) and Adrian Aucoin (Columbus) leave the organization and has yet to come to terms with captain Shane Doan, center Daymond Langkow and defenseman Michal Rozsival.

As it stands, the Coyotes only have 18 players under contract and are nearly $14 million shy of the salary cap floor.

Sabres need a center, Regier says trade most likely


In the aftermath of yesterday’s Derek Roy-for-Steve Ott/Adam Pardy trade, one thing was clear  — the Sabres need to add depth down the middle.

Roy was a top-two center in Buffalo and, perhaps most importantly, a veteran presence in the lineup. Tim Connolly and Paul Gaustad also left the Sabres over the last year, leaving the team pretty inexperienced at the position.

Currently, Buffalo’s depth chart at center features a pair of 22-year-olds (Cody Hodgson, Tyler Ennis) with 2012 first-round pick Mikhail Grigorenko (18) potentially in the mix.

Ott can play in the middle — he’s a good faceoff guy — but said “90 percent” of his career has been spent at left wing.

So, what does GM Darcy Regier plan to do?

Here’s John Vogl of the Buffalo News:

The Sabres failed in their attempt to convert Ville Leino from wing to center last season, so finding a natural pivot is paramount. Tyler Ennis and Cody Hodgson head the Sabres’ depth chart in the middle, but they are both only 22 years old and have not faced the pressure of being a No. 1 center.

“We certainly weren’t looking and aren’t going to move Tyler or Cody,” Regier said, “and will have to address, see if we can get a little bigger in the middle to complement those guys. . . . It’s more likely a trade than it is anything else.”

After looking at what’s left on the UFA market, it’s not surprising Regier will entertain some trades. It’s possible the best five remaining centers are Jason Arnott, Daymond Langkow, Kyle Wellwood, Dominic Moore and Jeff Halpern — none of which really fit what Buffalo is looking for.

Related: Sabres GM Regier looking for the “right centerman”

Phoenix signs David Moss to two-year deal

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The Phoenix Coyotes have locked up former Flames forward David Moss.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie tweets Moss has signed a two-year deal with the Coyotes to join their pack of hard-playing forwards. Moss is coming off a season in which he played just 32 games thanks to injury.

(McKenzie also notes Moss’ average annual capt hit is $2.1 million.)

Speaking of injuries, they’ve been Moss’ issue through his career — his last full season came all the way back in 2008-09.

“I’m pretty eager to play an 82-game season,” Moss told the Coyotes website. “I’m probably more excited than anybody to get back on the ice.”

With the Coyotes having a host of other free agents of their own to worry about (Shane Doan, Ray Whitney, Taylor Pyatt, Daymond Langkow) locking up Moss helps them mitigate the possible exodus they might face this summer.