Colorado Avalanche left wing Alex Tanguay is set to skate in his 1,000th career regular season NHL game Wednesday night when the Pittsburgh Penguins visit the Pepsi Center. The Avalanche – whose sweater Tanguay will wear for the 528th time on Wednesday – will honor the 35-year-old in advance of Wednesday night’s contest.
The Avalanche originally drafted Tanguay with the 11th overall selection in the first round of the 1998 draft. The Sainte-Justine, Quebec native made his NHL debut on Oct. 5, 1999 against the Nashville Predators – recording his first NHL point in the game.
He currently ranks ninth all-time in Avalanche franchise history in goals (157), assists (294), and points (451).
The 6-foot-1, 194-pound forward will always be highly regarded by Avalanche fans for scoring two goals in a 3-1 series deciding game seven victory over the New Jersey Devils in the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals.
The Avalanche shipped Tanguay to the Calgary Flames in a 2006 trade. He also had short stints with the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning before being reacquired by the Avalanche heading into 2013-14 season.
Despite being limited to just 16 games last season in his first year back with the burgundy and blue, Tanguay has reemerged as one of the Avs’ most consistent and potent offensive weapons in his fifteenth NHL season. The veteran leads the Avalanche with three game-winning goals, ranks second on the team with 16 goals, and third on the team with 40 points this season. In addition, he leads the entire NHL in shooting percentage (20.8 percent). Of course, this is nothing new for Tanguay, who holds the NHL’s top shooting percentage over the course of the last decade.
Tanguay also eclipsed 800 career points earlier this season with an assist in a Jan. 8 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Overall, he has 269 goals and 544 assists for a total of 813 points in his NHL career. He also has 59 points in 98 career playoff games.
The Avalanche have the veteran winger locked up for one more season on his current contract.
Nathan is a staff writer for Mile High Sports. He can be reached on Twitter at @TheRealNatron.