Today marks the sixth anniversary of one of the darkest days in Avalanche history. On June 24, 2006, Alex Tanguay was traded to the Calgary Flames. This trade, behind the Chris Drury trade, was one of the worst in franchise history.
Tanguay will always hold a special place in Avalanche fans’ hearts, as he scored both goals in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in 2001. A mere three years after being selected in the first round, he hammered the final nails of a championship season. However, Tanguay holds an even more special place in my heart: as the namesake of my cat.
In July 2001, my life-long dream of owning a cat was granted. (Basically, my Dad felt that at the age of seven, I could be a responsible caretaker for a cat.) It took a week or so to name the two-pound lump we adopted. Finally, my mom suggested “Tangers” to commemorate the championship season. Due to the fact the player and the cat each had startling blue eyes, it was a perfect fit.
Tangers quickly became the center of my world, a very different view than the one my Dad possessed of him. Frequently, my Dad would say that whenever Tanguay was traded, we would ship my cat away to that city in a box. This statement was met by high-pitched protests from both myself and the cat whom I clung to. By 2006, these comments had been mostly quieted, making the surprise on our kitchen table even more unpleasant on the morning of June 24.
On the table, a carefully placed article regarding the trade was spread out, and next to it laid a “passport” and a “plane ticket” for my cat. I let out a scream that was probably heard miles away, by far the most intense reaction to any hockey news that was not a Stanley Cup Championship.
Today, my cat is a crotchety, but loveable, 11 year old. I still root for Tanguay. I just hope his successes don’t come against the Avalanche.