Chris Tanev Finally Signs 1-Year Deal, Gets Douglas Murray Money

Decent money for a 3-year old (Image via ESPN)

As reported by the internet (I don’t actually know who had it first, since everyone and their grandmother tweeted it in between times I refreshed my timeline) RFA defenseman Chris Tanev and the Vancouver Canucks have come to terms on a 1-year deal worth $1.5 million, finally ending the stalemate between the two sides.

Read on past the jump for more on Tanev, and his new deal.

This is rough timing for me, personally, as I was just putting the finishing touches on an article which included 23 comparable RFA defensemen who have re-signed in the past 15 months. But obviously this comes as welcome news for fans of the team as these proceedings seemed to drag on for far longer than was expected.

When Cam Charron published a post about Mikhail Grabovski a few days ago, he pencilled Tanev in for $1.2 million (which I happened to agree with). I figured that the report that Tanev was considering offers from the KHL and Swiss Elite League – conveniently surfaced by his agent, as a leverage play no doubt – was bogus, and never really got worked up about the potential of him not being a Canuck come October 3rd. This news doesn’t surprise me, is what I’m trying to say.

The interesting part of this to me comes from Iain MacIntyre’s tweet shortly after the news broke:

I’m a little baffled by this, honestly (and in fairness to Iain, he’s not the only one to suggest this). I feel like we know what Chris Tanev is, despite the fact that he’s only turning 24 in December. He’s a 3rd pairing defenseman that can drive play in the right direction against tertiary competition. Likely his most useful skill, though, is the fact that he doesn’t really take penalties while drawing them at a decent rate. In fact, according to Cam – which will be posted in due time, he claims – Tanev had the 3rd best penalty differential amongst defensemen in the NHL last season.

There’s no doubt that all those things still make him a useful asset for the organization, and losing him would have been a big blow. Trust me, you don’t want to be part of the Yannick Weber Experience. However, what Tanev won’t do is contribute anything offensively, and because of that, he will probably never "get a lot richer". He will still be an RFA next summer (though he will have arbitration rights, which is a luxury he didn’t have this time around), and barring some completely unexpected, I believe that he’ll likely receive another 1 or 2-year deal in the similar price range.

  • Good news. With the cap going up next year, I could see the Canucks locking down Tanev for a few years in the 2-2.5 range. Yes, Tanev is offensively limited and generally plays against mid-range or soft competition, but he’s extremely reliable and can slot in to a top-4/shutdown role comfortably in the event of injury. That’s an asset worth keeping around.

    If Corrado performs as he’s expected to, the Canucks defense is looking as good as it has since Ehrhoff departed – possibly the best it’s ever looked.

    • Fred-65

      Tanev receives $1.5 his first year out of entry level.

      Locking him up for a few years would likely cost more than $2 – $2.5 million.

      A quality 3rd pairing defenseman isn’t somebody that needs to be locked up for multiple years with a cap hit over $3 million.

      • BrudnySeaby

        He remains an RFA next season, and unless he pulls a PK Subban, he’s not going to be due to more than double what he’s earning this year.

        Either Tanev is a bottom pairing defenseman or he’s not. If he’s a good bottom pairing defenseman, he’ll get good bottom pairing money (1.5-3, probably around 2), and the Canucks would be wise to lock up some of his UFA years. If he’s a legit top-4 defenseman, he’ll command $3 million+, and in that case, the Canucks (who are set in their top-4) can trade his RFA rights to another team for significant return.

        Not everything is awful all the time.

        • Mantastic

          It all depends on how he performs, the term of the contract and whether or not he is willing to go to arbitration to get what he feels he deserves.

          Jannik Hansen was willing to take the Canucks to arbitration and based on the length of this negotiation as well as the fact that an actual agent had to be brought into the process, I suspect the Tanev camp would be perfectly willing to go the arbitration route.

          Tanev played more of his ELC games in the minors than he did with Vancouver.

          And he doesn’t put up many points.

          And he wasn’t a regular top 4 member.

          Yet he still received a one way contract and a $600,000 raise.

          Your $2 – $2.5 million estimate is in the ballpark for what he will cost for another 1 year deal based on his current role.

          Not everything has to be wish fulfillment all the time.

          • BrudnySeaby

            You’re operating on the assumption that he’s going to significantly out-perform expectations. If he does, great, the Canucks are in an excellent position with a tradeable asset. If he performs to expectation, he’s not ever going to be paid more than $2.5 million or so – depth defensemen with minimal offensive upside do not sign $3 million + contracts, regardless of whether they’ree RFAs or UFAs. Tanev is a reliable, consistent 5th defenseman who excels against mid-level competition but has little offensive upside. That sort of player goes for between $1 million and $2.5 million on the open market. They don’t go for $3.5 million, especially as RFAs.

          • Mantastic

            “You’re operating on the assumption that he’s going to significantly out-perform expectations. If he does, great, the Canucks are in an excellent position with a tradeable asset.”

            Instead of making things up, how about think about this logically.

            Tanev doesn’t need to improve in the least. He can be the same guy.

            1. Tanev just received a $600,000 raise in his 1st RFA year during an economic recession.

            2. Tanev gains arbitration rights in 2014-2015

            3. The salary cap is expected to go up next year by a fair amount

            If performance is maintained, give me a logical explanation for how Tanev is going to get a smaller raise next year on a one year deal than the $600,000 he just received?

            Aside for cap wizardry…

  • BrudnySeaby

    Tanev is an excellent example of a ‘underrated player’. And, the need for adv. stats to correctly evaluate a players worth.

    Bad things simply happen very infrequently when he is on the ice!

    Also, as noted he takes very few penalties &
    by my research he has the lowest Turnover rate of any Nux D man .

    Defensive puck skills are very underrated in NHL They will even improve as he gets more experience.

    Also, he hasn’t had the opportunity to play with an experienced top D man.

    Also, he has had very little time with the Sedins..who always dominate puck possession.

    All the research shows Tanev has ‘excellent’ rare puck possession skills.

    He is a top 4 D man. And, will be worth 2.5 – 3.00 (a la W. Mitchell) next year.

  • Fred-65

    Two of the defenseman the Canucks were supposedly looking at to fill their toughness quota have signed recently in Murray ($1.5 mil) and Fistric ($0.9 mil).

    Hypothetically, if the Canucks can lock up Alberts for $1 million, how much money is left to entice the Grabovski charity outreach program to take his talents to Van City?

  • BrudnySeaby

    Good news. Next year he can sign a longer deal when Canucks management knows what the cap space will be.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing him go up against tougher competition. Would be curious to see what he could do together with Hamhuis as a shutdown pair (something to try in the exhibition games!?). Being more realistic, I hope he can play himself into a top 4 spot, even though that would mean Garrison or Edler sees 3rd line duty (which wouldn’t necessarily have to equate to 3rd line minutes. 2D and 3D lines could play equivalent minutes.)

  • BrudnySeaby

    Here is an updated roster concept. There are two holes: 4th line forward and 6th or 7th D. There is 3.6M in cap space.

    Note that you could give Sestito the 4LW spot for 750k, or Benn Ferreio for 550k. Similarly you could give Corrado the last defense spot for 600k. These are options. But there are obviously other options and with Tanev locked up we basically know exactly where we stand in filling those gaps, internally or through late-summer UFA signings.

    Personally my favourite answer involves signing Ian White for 2M or less, but others may differ.

    Daniel Sedin ($6.100m) / Henrik Sedin ($6.100m) / Zack Kassian ($0.870m)
    Alexandre Burrows ($4.500m) / Ryan Kesler ($5.000m) / Chris Higgins ($2.500m)
    David Booth ($4.250m) / Jordan Schroeder ($0.600m) / Jannik Hansen ($1.350m)
    Brad Richardson ($1.150m) / Dale Weise ($0.750m)
    Mike Santorelli ($0.550m) /
    Alexander Edler ($5.000m) / Kevin Bieksa ($4.600m)
    Jason Garrison ($4.600m) / Dan Hamhuis ($4.500m)
    Yannick Weber ($0.650m) / Chris Tanev ($1.500m)
    Roberto Luongo ($5.333m)
    Eddie Lack ($0.750m)
    SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; CAP PAYROLL: $60,653,333; BONUSES: $0
    CAP SPACE (20-man roster): $3,646,667

  • Mantastic

    Not sure who negotiated this contract, but it’s obviously over market value. His comparables tapped out at $1.4M, he should be at $1.3M per yr. Or, on a 1 yr deal he should be making much less. $1.5M only gives him even better leverage next summer in arb.

    Honestly, I think the Canucks brain trust has took the summer off. Richardson? Weber? Tanev @ $.5M? Letting Price hit UFA? Trading Schneider for a goalie who doesn’t want to be here? Hiring a coach who knows zip about puck possesion? I mean really, it’s gotta be the worst summer in recent history for this team.

  • Mantastic

    Tanev’s real value is his ability to make his playing partner better. It is a fact that Edler played better when paired with Tanev and even Ballard had much better games when Tanev was his partner. That is Why I believe Tanev will be a 2nd pairing with Edler, because his steady play and quick outlets will allow Edler to play a more aggressive game. Unfortunately for Tanev, making other players better is very hard to quantify in arbitration. He really needs to work on his shot. It is so weak and he always seems to hesitate which allows defenders to close the gap. His scouting report is reluctant to shoot, so if he was aggressive defenses will lag off him and he could put up better numbers.

  • Mantastic

    Good signing. Players will have to take a bit of a hair cut this season thanks to the cap. Tanev has a year to prove his next contract will indeed include a raise in $. I think this deal is what most expected.


    You’re sure the Sedins and Hansen will be getting raises?! Really? The Sedins (especially Daniel) have been on the decline. Hansen might be worth of a marginal raise. This season is huge for both. If the Sedins play at the same level as last year, or worse, I’d let them walk. I’d like to see the Sedins retire here but they shouldn’t be asking for a raise. Now that NM00 said they need to do it, I am betting it doesn’t happen.

    • Mantastic

      If the Canucks extend them, I guarantee the Sedins get a raise.

      The only qualification I’ll make is that the cap hit might not go up if the term is longer (i.e. 5 years).

      But if the term of an extension is 1-3 years, the AAV will be $7 million minimum.

      As for Hansen, I wouldn’t be surprised if management lets him walk.

      If he stays, though, he’s getting, at minimum the Higgins contract.

      “Now that NM00 said they need to do it, I am betting it doesn’t happen.”

      I’ve said it before that I wouldn’t extend the Sedins this offseason.

      The best move for the organization next summer may very well be letting the Sedins walk, buyout out Lou and, most importantly, firing the GM.

  • Mantastic


    Buying out Lu is pointless right now. We don’t know what we have in our other goalies at this point. Lu is still a good keeper and worth his annual cap hit. After seeing the other signings lately, Lu is a bargain. So, why would we buy him out now? There is no incumbent sitting there. Lu is the man. The only possibility is trying to deal him to make him happy. I agree with not buying him out – pointless.

    Gillis might be a good GM one day but that isn’t today or anytime soon. He had some great ideas but fell a bit short. I also feel he should be let go.

    I am in favor of keeping the Sedins only if they take a pay cut. I think they should retire as Canucks but only if it makes sense for both sides. The cap is going up after next season so a slight pay cut will still allow us to pick up a prized free agent or two.

  • pheenster

    NM00 is right on this one. Hank and Danny are getting a raise. 2 years at $7-million per is my guess. Like I said elsewhere, they’re turning 33, not 43. Pay cuts are for guys on the backside of their careers; Henrik was 20th in league scoring last year and Daniel was 32nd, on a team where they were the entire offence and saw the other team’s best defenders on pretty much every shift. Expecting them to take a pay cut when they’re still producing at that level, especially they were getting paid significantly less than market while doing so, is frankly kind of insulting.