Sunday, 5 October 2014

Can Eric Tangradi actually help the Canadiens?

One intriguing, longshot thought is that Eric Tangradi might be a Dale Weise-type of acquisition, a player coming from a team that can't use him properly, on which the role he could play is already filled, while on the Canadiens the opportunity exists for a player with his skill set to thrive.

One point that Paul Maurice made when he took over in Winnipeg is that his team had great size, he explained that when the team congregated for chalk talks on the ice during his first practice, he was mostly looking up at his players, which he liked, since he says he's a pretty big guy to begin with.  On the other hand, this summer at training camp, while being respectful of Claude Noël, he said he wanted to change the country club atmosphere and the work ethic, the dedication of players to winning.

So Eric Tangradi had guys like Evander Kane, Andrew Ladd, Blake Wheeler, Chris Thorburn and Michael Frolik ahead of him on the depth chart on the wing, all with good or great size.  He didn't bring anything to the table that wasn't already well stocked.  The Canadiens are still on the smaller side and able to use a big body who can crash and bang and cancel out another tough guy when he's looking for trouble.  He may get a chance to play and put things together in terms of producing on offence, he may have a better crack at sticking in the big league than he did in Winnipeg.  

Just as Peter Budaj, with his experience and good team and people skills, may have a larger role to play in the Jets roster, on the ice and dressing room, and assist Paul Maurice with his team attitude overhaul he's undertaking.

So we may have taken two pegs and found them appropriate holes with this trade, and there's a small but significant chance that Eric Tangradi could blossom in Montréal when called up.

And I'll repeat the point that we've been making for a while now, just because it pleases us so, but two years ago the only player with any appreciable size in Hamilton was Steve Quailer, and he wasn't a reasonable callup candidate.  This year, we'll have Drayson Bowman and Mr. Tangradi as immediate options, and down the line Connor Crisp, Nick Sorkin, Jack Nevins among others.  Winning.

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