Chris Tanev is a good player and if the Toronto Maple Leafs add him then they have a nice little trio in Rielly-Tanev-McCabe that would be the start a pretty decent blue-line....if they were the team's 2-3-4 defensemen and not its' 1-2-3 defensemen.
The problem with Chris Tanev is that he's 34 and is statistically the 4th best defender on a team currently worse than the Toronto Maple Leafs.
That's not the kind of upgrade that takes you to the Stanely Cup Final, and in fact it barely makes the Leafs any better than they are now.
That's not to say I wouldn't like the addition of Chris Tanev. I liked the addition of Luke Schenn last year too, what I didn't like was how high in the lineup they played him. As good as Schenn was at the things he's good at, it didn't do the team any favors to have him on the ice with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.
The Leafs need to learn the lesson Luke Schenn taught them: a prototypical playoff defender hurts as much as he helps when you put him with offensive players.
Chris Tanev Helps the Toronto Maple Leafs, But Not That Much
The same thing will happen if the Leafs get Chris Tanev - he will be overplayed and overused and he'll end up on the ice a lot with the Leafs offensive players which will hurt the team at what they're best at.
Chris Tanev of four years ago would have been like getting Jake Muzzin. Chris Tanev is still good but he's no longer great. If he is the second-best addition to the Leafs blue-line, that's a different story.
The names out there are underwhelming, so if the Leafs want to improve their blue-line they are going to have to go off the board.
The Leafs need to add a no-doubt superstar defender to the top of their lineup. After that, they need to add a puck mover who can help them score more goals and who fits into their team's makeup.
Adding Tanev would make the Leafs better, but their main problem is that outside of Rielly, no one on their blue-line is particularly adept at moving the puck. Liljegren is good at it, but the coach doesn't trust him and he's never going to reach his potential under Sheldon Keefe.
So while I do expect the Leafs to trade for Chris Tanev, I fully expect them to pay too much, and to ignore more imporant issues to make it happen. My only hope is that another team offers to pay more than the Leafs are willing to.