3 reasons why trading for Chris Tanev makes sense for the Maple Leafs

It’s no secret that the Toronto Maple Leafs need some help defensively if they hope to seriously contend for a Stanley Cup this spring.
Feb 8, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Calgary Flames defenseman Chris Tanev (8) passes the puck
Feb 8, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Calgary Flames defenseman Chris Tanev (8) passes the puck / John Jones-USA TODAY Sports
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The Maple Leafs can definitely use some help at the blue line if they want to make a major push for a deep playoff run, and a proven talent like Chris Tanev may be a huge help in Toronto. While Morgan Rielly will make an eventual return following his suspension, it still doesn’t mean Toronto wouldn’t benefit from adding an established talent like Tanev

Quite a few blueliners in their current lineup just haven’t worked out this season, like John Klingberg. But what makes someone like Tanev so special among other defensemen out there rumored to potentially be on the move like Noah Hanifin and Sean Walker? Here are three reasons why he would be such a good fit in Toronto for at least the remainder of the season. 

The Maple Leafs could use one more established veteran in the rotation

While Mark Giordano paces the defensive rotation in age, the 40-year-old has only seen time in 35 games this season. Tanev could come in as the second-oldest member in the group and add one more seasoned veteran to a unit that also includes a similar player in T.J. Brodie. 

Adding a player with comparable productivity like Tanev may not make a ton of sense from a certain point of view, but we also need to look at how much the Maple Leafs have struggled this season in allowing too many goals to slip by. As of February 13th, that number sits at 163, which ranks 17th in the 32-team league, averaging 3.19 goals allowed per game. 

That number won’t cut it in the playoffs, so adding someone like Tanev would be a major help when the team doesn’t have the puck. No, Tanev can’t make saves for goaltenders Ilya Samsonov and Martin Jones, but he can at least block a few more would-be shots on goal from getting to the crease.