Early this morning, the Calgary Flames twitter feed informed the world that forward Alex Tanguay is out indefinitely with a concussion. There was no indication as to when this happened (though the assumption would be the Chicago Blackhawks game) or how, just that both he and Pardy are out indefinitely.
Concussions are bad news, in case you haven't read a single other hockey article recently. They can take weeks or months to come back from. Marc Savard of the Boston Bruins was recently shutdown again for a concussion he had sustained about a year ago. This is bad news for Alex Tanguay and bad news for the Calgary Flames. So where do the Flames go from here?
This is where the decisions get tough for Interim GM Jay Feaster. The Flames are currently 8th in the West with 61 points and 55 games played. How tenuous is that position? Well, Colorado is currently in 14th with 56 points and 53 games played. It's tight.
So if Jay Feaster decides he wants to get the Flames into the playoffs without Alex Tanguay, our second best forward (and our only other first line forward) this year, then he's going to have make a pretty sizeable acquisition. The Flames could probably subsist on the current lineup for a few game, but Tanguay's absence won't take long to be felt.
On the other hand, Feaster could look at the Flames' trade assets, decide it's a lost cause, and spend the rest of the season aiming for a top 10 draft pick. Given the closeness of the Western Conference though- I doubt Ken King et al. would be too thrilled about seeing a near playoff opportunity slip away.
In the end we're left with either the Flames trying to fill Tanguay's position internally or externally. The assumption is that an initial attempt will be made to fill his abilities from within, but as I mentioned above, that's not going to happen or last. The Heat is made up of prospects just making do at AHL competition, there's nobody near ready in the CHL, and all the players currently on the Flames roster lack the scoring and playmaking abilities of Alex Tanguay, such as they are.
And so we are left with only filling from the outside, provided this is not a fast recovery (and I would rather see Alex Tanguay take his time to get healthy, rather than risk his career and mental capabilities). Any thoughts of who the Flames could trade for that would be a difference maker on the Flames? A couple of names being bandied about on Twitter this morning were Florida Panthers forwards David Booth and Stephen Weiss.
Update: According to the latest official Flames' twitter update, it's just a neck strain. Now I'm not a doctor- but how the hell do you confuse a concussion and a neck strain?