Toronto Maple Leafs Rumours: Team remains interested in Chris Tanev

CALGARY, AB - NOVEMBER 11: Chris Tanev
CALGARY, AB - NOVEMBER 11: Chris Tanev /

On Hockey Night in Canada’s “Headlines” segment, it was reported that the Toronto Maple Leafs remain interested in Vancouver Canucks defenceman Chris Tanev.

It appears that if the Toronto Maple Leafs are going to trade for a defenceman, they might be looking outside of the rental market for help.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that teams have called the Vancouver Canucks about Chris Tanev to gauge the potential asking price. It seems the offer would have to be special in order for them to part with the 28-year-old.

It is no secret the Leafs are in need of some help on the blueline, but at what cost? Teams like the Canucks cannot afford to get caught up in a lengthy rebuild and Tanev would be one of their top trade assets, so they’re not just going to take the first offer for him.

"“I think the Canucks realize still that even though they are rebuilding, you want to give your young players a chance,” Friedman said. “And you’ve got to be serious, really serious, if you want to get Tanev out [of Vancouver].”"

What the Canucks also realize is that teams will not pony up top assets for a defenceman that has had injury issues ever since he joined the league. The Toronto native has never played more than 70 games in a season and that will be the issue that should drive down his price.

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What benefits the Canucks is that Tanev has a reasonable contract that has two more seasons left with a modified no-trade clause and he has not asked to be traded. There are not many capable top-four right-handed shot defenceman that carry a $4.45-million cap hit.

Almost a month ago,I provided some reasons why Tanev would be an ideal target to bolster the Leafs blueline. He would alleviate the amount of time Ron Hainsey and Nikita Zaitsev play on the penalty kill. He also has better possession numbers even though he is used in more defensive minded situations.

One of the reasons why the Leafs would be cautious about Tanev is the injury issues, because this factors in the assets they would offer to the Canucks.

What would the Canucks want from the Leafs? Steve “Dangle” Glynn posed that question on twitter and got some typical responses.

Many Canucks fans pointed out that the team is in desperate need of defensive prospects which is why Travis Dermott and Timothy Liljegren’s names appear on a majority of the responses.

The issue with including either in a deal is the fact they are the Leafs top defensive prospects, and for the same reasons why the Canucks want them is the same reason the Leafs would rather keep them.

While Tanev is a good defenceman, people need to remember he is not a superstar player and again the injury concerns is going to keep teams from trading high level assets.

A good comparable deal could be the Travis Hamonic trade to Calgary, which fetched the New York Islanders first and two second round picks. Again it seems like the Canucks want to hit a home run, which is why they would rather have a prospect as a part of the deal.

This does not seem like the type of deal that follows Lou Lamoriello’s plan and while it is unfortunate that Tanev does not check all the boxes, he is certainly a better option than the ones available on the rental market.

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What do you think about the rumour on Tanev? Is he someone the Toronto Maple Leafs should consider or could the price and injury problems be too much of a risk?