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
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 3
Next

Tanev’s defensive play has won games for a very average hockey team

It’s true that the Calgary Flames aren’t a bad team, but it’s also true that they aren’t a great one. Middle-of-the-road is the best way to describe Calgary’s current situation, and it’s been that way for quite some time. Sure, they have made some moderately decent playoff runs over the past two decades, but they also haven’t gone deep or seriously contended for the Cup since 2003-04. 

Over the past two seasons, Tanev has been stuck playing for that mediocre Flames team, yet he shows up often when it comes to winning games. His overall point shares stand at a modest 2.6, which is tenth on the Flames. But when you flip to his 2.8 defensive point shares, he’s fourth on the team. 

His stay-at-home mindset is a huge reason behind this. And as we implied in the previous section, this is the kind of blueliner the Maple Leafs need to finally embark on their own deep playoff run. 

This isn’t to say Tanev will be a miracle worker or even provide a ton of help to Toronto. But his play in the defensive zone will translate to Toronto’s big-time scorers like Auston Matthews and William Nylander getting more opportunities that should further translate into wins down the stretch.