Red Wings hire former Avalanche forward Alex Tanguay as assistant coach

Tanguay once part of loathed Colorado squad, now tasked with helping to rebuild Red Wings offense

LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 29: Alex Tanguay #18 of the Colorado Avalanche looks on during a break in game action against the Los Angeles Kings on January 29, 2004 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Avalanche and the Kings skated to a 3-3 tie. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images) (Victor Decolongon, 2004 Getty Images)

DETROIT – Alex Tanguay is joining the Detroit Red Wings as an assistant coach.

Red Wings fans of course remember Tanguay as a thorn in Detroit’s side when he played wing for the Colorado Avalanche between 1999 and 2006. Tanguay helped the Avs win the Stanley Cup in 2001 when he scored 21 points in 23 playoff games.

He enjoyed a 17-year career in the NHL with stops in Calgary, Tampa, another stint in Colorado, and then a short time in Arizona before retiring in 2017. Tanguay scored 283 goals and 580 assists for 863 points in 1,088 NHL games.

Now Detroit GM Steve Yzerman has decided to bring the former Avalanche scorer to the Red Wings coaching staff to help with the team’s struggling offense. The 41-year-old has spent the past two years as an assistant coach with the American Hockey League’s Iowa Wild. He helped boost the team’s offense with a 21.9 percent power play conversion rate. That’s definitely something the Red Wings need -- better offense, specifically on the power play.

The 2020-21 Red Wings were, at times, very dismal on offense. Their 2.23 goals per game was second worst in the league. There was a stretch in January/February where the Red Wings scored an average 1.625 goals per game over an eight-game losing streak. Somehow their terrible 11.4% (6.7% in February) conversion on the power play was only second-worst in the NHL -- the Anaheim Ducks finished with a power play percentage of 8.9% this season.

Tanguay will be tasked with helping the group find some kind of power play production as he joins head coach Jeff Blashill behind the Detroit bench.

About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.