The Calgary Flames have been one of the worst teams in the NHL in the early onset of the 2023-24 NHL season, compiling a dismal record of 2-6-1. Their 19 goals scored is tied for the third-lowest in the NHL, with only the St. Louis Blues (14) and San Jose Sharks (9) scoring less. As they continue to spiral down the bowl, some of their key pending free agents could become available via trade. Former Vancouver Canucks defenseman Chris Tanev is among them.
Tanev spent a decade playing for the Canucks, and even played in five playoff games during their 2010-11 Stanley Cup Finals run. In fact, Tanev never wanted to leave Vancouver back in 2020, but he and the team couldn’t agree to a contract thanks to cap constraints. Shocker, I know.
Now at the age of 33, the ace blueliner is closer to the end of his NHL journey than the beginning, and there’s not many contenders – if any at all – that can afford his $4.5 million cap hit at present. The Canucks are included in that list, but they are certainly more desperate for right-shot defense help than pretty much every other team in the league. Plus, Tanev would surely be ok with returning to Vancouver, and it would make for a cool feel-good story for a team that hasn’t had much to feel good about in recent years.
Age and term will be two factors the Canucks need to consider moving forward, as Tanev could easily command a large salary with the number of suitors he’ll have on the open market, and he’s also quite a bit older than core players like captain Quinn Hughes, Elias Pettersson, and Filip Hronek. Tanev will turn 34 before the new year, so as much as he’ll be nice to have, he’s not someone to build around at this point.
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As the season continues to draw out, don’t be surprised to see the Canucks wade their way into the trade conversations around Tanev. If they truly want Tanev, they’re going to want (and need) to beat everyone else to the punch.