According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Toronto Maple Leafs are interested in acquiring Chris Tanev before the NHL Trade Deadline.
Tanev, the 4th best defenseman on the Calgary Flames accoding to the Athletic's Player Cards, has been linked to the Toronto Maple Leafs all season.
The Leafs desperately need defensive help, and with GM Brad Treliving’s previous ties to the Calgary Flames, he'd probably want to bring in a few familiar faces. Currently carrying a $4.5M cap hit, the pending UFA would add a lot to Toronto’s blue line.
It’s no secret that Toronto’s weakest aspect of their game is their blue-line which struggles to move the puck and defend the net.
It’s hard to trade for a number-one defenseman who can eat up 27 minutes of ice time per night, so instead, the team will need to find several players who can do it by committee.
Tanev’s $4.5M contract is doable, thanks to John Klingberg being on LTIR. However, I wouldn’t want the team to put all their eggs into the Tanev basket. Sure, he brings a ton of elements that this team needs, like his size and physical play, but he’s not the one missing piece they need. He also figures to be extremely expensive for what he brings.
Trade Rumour: Maple Leafs Still Interested in Chris Tanev
In a perfect world, the Flames would retain some of Tanev’s contract, or the Leafs would ship out more money in exchange for Tanev, to give themselves cap flexibility.
When you have a core of Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander, you have to go for it every single year. Although I personally think that it could be a better option for them to be sellers at the NHL Trade Deadline and build up assets to go all-in from 2026-2028, that’s just not going to fly in this market, and you can’t waste a season where Matthews could score 70 goals.
As such, this team needs to do whatever it takes to acquire Tanev and make their defense better. However, they can’t stop there, as Tanev needs to be just one piece of the puzzle as the team gets closer to the NHL Trade Deadline.
For example, if this team is going to commit to the “all-in” approach, why stop at Tanev with Calgary? They have Noah Hanifin sitting right there as another great defensive option who could really help the Leafs on the power-play and then defensively as well. Obviously, the money needs to work, but if you’re going to put one toe in for a Stanley Cup, you may as well dunk your entire foot and go for it.
The Flames have already traded their best asset in Elias Lindholm, so they’re clearly open for business. As a result, it’s time for the Leafs to strike before someone else does.