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Immodest Proposals: Trading Tanev For A Premium Young RHD

Several commenters on past editions of the Trade Market have mentioned their desire to see more actual trade proposals put up for discussion, and that’s the idea behind our newest column—Immodest Proposals.  

In each edition of Immodest Proposals, we’ll come up with a trade Concept—meaning the assets that the Canucks might be looking to give and receive in a potential deal—and the Rationale behind making said trade. We’ll then go around the league looking for potential trading partners that fit the bill, and throw it all together in a series of trade proposals that CanucksArmy readers can vote on.

Note: In the interest of fostering discussion, we’re going to aim to include a boatload of trade proposals in each edition of the column—but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the author thinks each proposal is a good one, or even a realistic one. That will be for the polls to decide!

The Concept

This week’s Immodest Proposals are inspired by this week’s column about finding a defense partner for Quinn Hughes. While Chris Tanev makes for an excellent short-term solution, the Canucks might be interested in a pairing with more long-lasting potential.

With that in mind, we’re proposing a trade of Chris Tanev for essentially his own replacement. Tanev would be traded for a young, bluechip right-handed defenseman who is either just starting their NHL career or on the cusp of breaking into the league.

The targets for a trade of this nature would be contending teams that could benefit from upgrading a young talent to Tanev—which might hurt them in the long run, but would also give them a steady shutdown defender for at least two playoff runs. In order to further entice contenders, Vancouver could retain some salary on Tanev.

The proposed trade concept, therefore, would be:

Vancouver Trades Chris Tanev (25% Retained) For A Bluechip Right-Handed Defenseman Between The Ages Of 18 And 21


The Rationale

Quinn Hughes is set to occupy the left side of the Vancouver blueline for years to come, but right-side defense remains the weakest component of the Canucks’ prospect cupboard. Jalen Chatfield is still rounding out his game in the AHL, and Jett Woo is at least a season away from even beginning his pro career—and after those two, it’s slim pickings.

Acquiring a premium RHD would allow the Canucks to shore up an organizational weakness and provide Hughes with a long-term potential partner—perhaps solidifying the team’s future top pairing. Even if the newly acquired defender doesn’t end up meshing with Hughes, it would still give the Canucks at least two young options in their top-four next year.

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For his part, Tanev represents one of the franchise’s most valuable tradeable assets, and the Canucks might be best served by moving him before he ages out of effectiveness—provided they can get an adequate return. By trading him for a replacement player on an entry-level contract, any retention on Tanev’s contract will be offset.


The Proposals

For this exercise, we’re mainly looking at trading partners that are:

  1. Contending teams
  2. In need of Tanev’s services
  3. In possession of a bluechip RHD prospect


To Toronto:

Chris Tanev (25% Retained)

To Vancouver:

Timothy Liljegren

Why not start with the most obvious proposal? This trade—or some variation of it—has been discussed since pretty much the day Liljegren was drafted, and it’s hard not to see the fit. Even after acquiring Jake Muzzin, the Leafs need major help on the right side, and Tanev already has established chemistry with Morgan Rielly. Liljegren is having a sophomore slump in the AHL, but he’s still just 19 years old and retains enormous value. 

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To Nashville:

Chris Tanev (25% Retained)

To Vancouver:

Dante Fabbro

Fabbro has been connected to the Canucks in trade rumours before, but it’s hard to argue that Nashville needs an addition to their blueline, so Tanev might not be a fit. Still, Vancouver fans know firsthand that he represents a major upgrade on Yannick Weber and there have been mentions of a potential departure for PK Subban or Ryan Ellis in the summer—so an additional right-side defender may not be the worst idea. More retention may be required to seal this deal, but it’s not entirely implausible. 


To Tampa Bay:

Chris Tanev (25% Retained)

To Vancouver:

Cal Foote

Tampa Bay is another team with an already-excellent blueline, but they’ve been specifically rumoured to be seeking a right-handed defenseman—and a retained Tanev could be the best option on the market. Foote has made a smooth transition to professional hockey with the Syracuse Crunch after spending the entirety of his junior career in Kelowna. He’s got the size and skill to matchup well with Quinn Hughes.

To Philadelphia:

Chris Tanev (25% Retained)

To Vancouver:

Philippe Myers

Myers just turned 22 a few days ago, but we won’t hold that against him. He’s still very much a bluechip prospect—and although the Flyers are far from a contender this season, it sounds as though they’re still set on retooling around Claude Giroux. Philadelphia could use an addition on the right side, especially if they move on from Radko Gudas at the deadline. In that case, they could probably afford to take Tanev without retention. 


To Colorado:

Chris Tanev (25% Retained)

To Vancouver:

Conor Timmins

Timmins projects to be the most polarizing inclusion. By the end of last season, he would have probably been considered the best prospect on this list—but then he suffered a concussion in the OHL playoffs and has yet to return to action. He’s getting nearer to a return, and there’s every chance that Colorado views him as untouchable—but they also have Cale Makar already on the right side, and that gives them options. Timmins would definitely be an acquisition in the “high risk, high reward” category, especially if he struggles after his return to the ice.


To Edmonton:

Chris Tanev (25% Retained)

To Vancouver:
Ethan Bear

2nd Round Pick

Edmonton was a difficult team to leave off this list, so we had to bend the rules to include them. The Oilers are committed to being a contender with Connor McDavid as their centerpiece—even if they’re not playing like it right now. Their right side is weak even when fully healthy, and if the Oilers can shed the salary of Cam Talbot or Andrej Sekera then they could definitely use Tanev’s services. Unfortunately, they don’t possess a true bluechip RHD prospect—so Bear plus a semi-significant add is the next best thing.

    • Puck Viking

      Liljegrin really isnt progressing.. Timmins was playing unreal until he got hurt and the long recovery makes me nervous.. Would the Avs do Rathbone for Timmins? They need Leftys.

      • Bendervîlle Tîgres

        Liljegren has been out injured with a high ankle injury since Dec 1st. At least do some research before you throw a good young player under the bus man. Your fantasy league posts smell of too much time spent on EA sports hockey games.

    • Cageyvet

      My thoughts exactly Bishnu, the last 2 are a stretch for sure. Liljegren would be my first choice, and I think Foote is intriguing as well. Fabbro and Myers bring enough to justify this deal as well. It’s tough to move Tanev off this thin D corps, but these players are either NHL-ready or close enough to make it worthwhile. I am a Tanev fan, but I see the decline already, it would be great to turn him into a much younger option.

  • While I’d love to see the Liljegren deal happen, I just can’t see the Leafs parting with a young defenceman with that much upside for Chris Tanev at the point in his career and contract Tanev is at, even with retained salary.

    If the Canucks took back Ron Hainsey to sweeten the pot and make the salary / roster numbers work, I’d be all right with that, though.

  • Ty Webb

    I think Liljegren for Tanev straight up would be highway robbery for Jim Benning and in a vacuum it’s highly unlikely Toronto would do it. BUT any deal with Toronto needs to be salary nuetral which means Vancouver retaining salary and/or another player coming back the other other way. Both those scenarios would effectively increase Tanevs value. How much of a premium is Dubas willing to pay for 4.45M in cap relief?

  • Kanuckhotep

    On the surface parting w/older veterans for potentially good young prospects is a very acceptable, near-standard practise in today’s NHL. But if you trade Tanev as proposed in the article the Canucks would still have to replace Chris’s reliability and experience for which there are no substitutes. The kids mentioned all look pretty good to me. Unless Benning would or does have some sort of Myers/Karlsson/Gardiner et al FA signing card up his July 1st sleeve I don’t see Tani leaving unless mgmt has made contingencies to obtain a mentoring veteran to replace him.

  • Bud Poile

    As the right side is the Canucks weakest link depth -wise surely Tanev @ near 21 minutes per night TOI is not being shipped out in trade for a prospect.
    Unless the Canucks land a premium RHD in trade or FA Tanev should not and likely will not be traded.
    The Canucks need to ship out LHD,not RHD.

    • petey 40

      How many times do you have to be told that this ridiculous OBSESSION of yours with ‘perfect’ balance between RHD and LHD is NOT a big f–king deal!

      The most successful Canucks D- corp in franchise history is…

      Bieksa RHD
      Salo RHD
      Edler LHD
      Hamhuis LHD
      Rome LHD
      Ehrhoff LHD

      Ehrhoff, an outstanding pick up by NHL GM of the year Mike Gillis, played RHD on his OFFSIDE and led team D in the 2011 reg season and playoffs.

      Case closed – if you played the game you would know this… but you don’t so you did not. NON ISSUE. DISMISSED!

      • FinkFast

        Woah, that is a little extreme and black and white. I agree that D balance isn’t as big an issue as some people make out. But it isn’t a closed case, or some kind of “Everyone who has played the game agrees with one side” issue.

        One of the biggest proponents of perfect D balance is Mike Babcock. He has waxed eloquent about how rigid he is on it. The best coaches in the game seem to be pretty split on the issue, although I hope it shifts more towards a looser balance. No need to attack to overstate the point.

        ….Unless this is just a “Hating Bud Poile thing”. I can never keep straight who hate who and who we are all supposed to yell at.

      • Bud Poile

        The multi-banned troll ,so self-important with his “elite” hockey mind he forgets what reality actually is:
        Mike Gillis on balancing his D on 10/11/2018:
        “Our defense was built on transition.
        The way our PP was set up we wanted two LH shots and two RH shots to make Daniel and Henrik as effective as possible.”

        • petey 40

          “The only thing that matters is the playoffs” – Dud Poile…

          Stanley Cup Finalists LHD-RHD D that played 10+ games in the playoffs…

          2018: Vegas 2 RHD & 5 LHD/Caps 2 RHD & 4 LHD
          2017: Pens 1 RHD & 5 LHD/Preds 3 RHD & 3 LHD
          2016: Pens 3 RHD & 4 LHD/Sharks 3 RHD & 3 LHD
          2015: Chicago 2 RHD & 4 LHD/TB 2 RHD & 5 LHD
          2013: Chicago 2xRHD & 4 LHD/Bruins 2 RHD & 4 LHD
          2011: Bruins 2 RHD & 4 LHD/Vancouver 2 RHD & 5 LHD
          2010: Chicago 3 RHD & 4 LHD/Philly 0 RHD & 6 LHD

          Western Conference leading Calgary Flames top 6 D this season…

          Giordano (LH) – Brodie (LH)
          Hanifin (LH) – Hamonic (RH)
          Stone (RH) – Andersson (RH)

          Non issue… now, run along, tail between legs — as ever. Nextttttttt

      • Braindead Benning

        Dude, I admit I don’t like Bud also, but your obsession with him is getti v rather old… I am sure you can come up with something more constructive and humorous then posting old quotes… Come on man… You can do better?

        • Bud Poile

          No,he’s a Benning hater just like you,dude.
          Maybe you two can brainstorm together and f.ind new ways to fuel your hate rants now that the Canucks are winning games and vying for the playoffs.
          Lots of bridges open to the two of you to put up your Mikey pictures and do what it is you do.

  • kermit

    I’d say Fabbro or Foote. Not because of the players, but more because of the organizations that drafted them. The scouts in Nashville and Tampa have demonstrated that they are very competent at finding talented D prospects.

    • Rodeobill

      Both Nashville and Tampa are already set up on D. I imagine adding Tanev to the mix would make their back end near bulletproof, especially considering how relaxed they could be just putting him out for Dzone faceoffs and PKs and letting the big guns focus on Ozone stuff and PPs. Scary to think. Worth it for them to make this trade without the retained salary if they can fit him under the cap. Both in win now mode, Tanev brings ALOT, and will for the next 3-5 years if they resign him.

  • Defenceman Factory

    Great article. A young RHD is the most significant need the team has and the one where trading for it makes the most sense. Maybe a future article could focus on specific RHD to target and discuss what assets might be used to acquire them rather than being limited to teams who might be interested in Tanev.

    I like the options the author has proposed but admittedly don’t know much about Timmins. I saw Bear play quite often in Junior. The kid was a work horse and hit like truck but I don’t think his ceiling is top pairing but could be solid middle pair. Foote was awesome in junior and with some work on his quickness would be a great acquisition.

    I do have a couple question for the author. Stephan are you not an Evan Bouchard fan? I think the Oilers are very unlikely to move him but you also say the Oilers lack a bluechip RHD prospect. Many see Bouchard as just that.

    Also Stephan you did not include a trade with the Islanders and interested in your rationale. Tanev would be an upgrade on their current RHD and they have a couple good young guys in Wilde and Dobson. A trade for even Pulock might make sense.

    • Peachy

      Bouchard is absolutely blue chip, but..
      No trade built around Tanev gets the Canucks within miles of Bouchard.

      Its not even worth considering. (Same for Dobson.)

      • Thanks! You’re the nicest factory I know.

        To answer your questions:

        1) I think the Oilers see Bouchard as untouchable, so I should have said that Edmonton doesn’t have a bluechip RHD they’d be willing to deal. Teams rarely deal players less than a year after drafting them, so I didn’t include any 2018 picks on here. Good catch, I’m adding clarification.

        2) On the Islanders, I didn’t include them for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I don’t think they’d deal either Dobson or Wilde so soon after drafting them. Secondly, I think they need more help on the left side than the right. Pulock has been great this season, and there’s no way they’re trading him. But otherwise you’re right to bring them into the conversation. Great comment!

    • Defenceman Factory

      What is a midterm RHD solution? Are you talking about a lesser prospect or an older player? The scope of this article was quite specific about trading Tanev for his replacement. I do hope future articles look at alternative ways of trading for RHD.

      • DogBreath

        I said they’d keep Tanev and package Hutton and others to get the RHD. They need Tanev for a year or two. The RHD is neither a lesser prospect not an older player. Likely a defensively reliable player who will be in the age cohort of this rising group.

  • TheRealPB

    Interesting exercise but I think meeting #2 in your criteria — in need of Tanev’s services — is hard to do in some of those cases. Toronto and Edmonton for sure. It’s hard to see Nashville offering up Fabbro for a sixth D on their current lineup (they’d be better off using that asset to solidify their bottom six). For a bunch of these other teams, it doesn’t seem like there’s much in it for them — Colorado and Philadelphia don’t need the cap relief for retaining salary and I can imagine they’d want more than Tanev for one of their better prospects. I think (like most fanbases) we overvalue our players; I think 2019 Tanev isn’t going to get you more than B prospect or a 2nd rounder. People think the Muzzin trade means we’ll get a lot for Tanev but Muzzin has been a far more durable player with significantly better offensive numbers than Tanev.

      • TheRealPB

        As an aside, I think it is really admirable that you go through and respond to the comments section on your article. I know others have said it too, but I want to reiterate what a respectful and engaged practice it is and it makes the discussion much better.

    • truthseeker

      As for what other “people” thought I don’t know, but what I suggested was that if Muzzin could bring back 3 pieces, which were a 1st, a D prospect who was a 2nd round pick, and a forward prospect who was a 2nd round pick, Tanev should at least get the canucks 2 pieces in a return and not just one. ie a first and some type of decent prospect. To me that doesn’t seem like “a lot”, just fair market value.

  • Hockey Bunker

    To trade the top RHD for a maybe seems stupid to be honest. Hughes will need a top defender with him so why now add another you get guy so they can stink together? Sorry do t want to do that to Hughes or the team. Creating a roster crisis where one doesn’t exist.

    • Defenceman Factory

      I agree there is risk in trading Tanev and it is likely the D will likely be worse without him in the short term.

      The other side of the argument is there is risk in not acquiring his replacement as soon as possible.The void he would leave now will be the same void at the end of next season with no one near ready to fill his role. There are no sure fire RHD in the 2019 draft which means it would be optimistic to project anyone picked into the line-up within 4 years. The Canucks won’t be legitimate contenders without an upgraded D corps. Tanev is one of very few assets available to try to make that happen sooner rather than later.

        • Defenceman Factory

          I’ve always liked Tanev and believe he is a great Dman. I do not share your optimism he will retain his current level of play never mind show improvement. I expect him to regress further. There is a real risk it could fall off a cliff.

          • truthseeker

            Fair enough. If you think he will never be any better and only get worse, then that’s the fundamental sticking point where discussion becomes impossible. We will have to agree to disagree and time will tell which of us is correct.

            In the end, it only matters where Benning stands on this issue. If he thinks like you then he should take what he can get now. If he thinks like me, then he should hold out for at least a couple of decent pieces and not just one.

  • Burnabybob

    Fun article. I always enjoy this site. If the authors on this site are correct, though, Tanev has little trade value. Getting a blue chip defensive prospect for him seems unlikely.

    • I think it’s important to remember that a reputation counts when it comes to trade value–just look at Erik Gudbranson!

      Tanev is known leaguewide as one of the top shutdown D in the league. There’ll be suitors for him if he’s put on the market, and bidding wars can quickly raise prices.

  • truthseeker

    I’ll just cut and paste my response to this line of reasoning, in the other thread, slightly modified.

    For me, it comes down to whether or not you believe Tanev is never going to play any better. If you believe he’s “in decline” and what you’re seeing this season is what he will be for the rest of his career and there is no recovery, then yeah, a single piece like mentioned above would be a fair return. So if you’re one of those people, you can just skip the rest of this because we fundamentally disagree. (I’m sure the cockroach will represent with a multitude of thumbs down so have no fear there.)

    I personally don’t believe Tanev is “at the end”. I think he can easily provide another 3 minimum and probably more like 5 solid seasons.

    I think a guy like Tanev kind of mirrors Hamhuis quite a bit. The canucks were too quick to give up on that guy in my opinion, simply because the perception was a lot like Tanev’s right now. And Hamhuis was even older, then went on to play some very solid seasons with the Stars. Season’s the canucks could have used.

    For me, the risk of accepting a single return of a prospect who has never played an NHL game like Fabbro, Liljegren, and everyone else on that list, is not worth what we’d be giving up in terms of what Tanev should provide for the next few years. There is only around a 21% chance that the higher of those players will end up being top 4 defenders. The most likely outcome for guys like that will be around a “4” type player.


    So they most likely will be 200 game NHL players (but less than “NHL regular”). That’s basically what Pouliot is. Or is becoming as he looks right now.

    Even if we assume injuries for Tanev, which is unfair, and say he only gets into 50 games a year, he’ll still be more value than a “4” ranked player on that list. He’s on pace to play way more than 50 this year.

    I’ll give you the argument if you believe Tanev is completely done as a player and everything is for sure going to be down hill for him for the rest of his career. If you really believe that, then OK sure, one single prospect might be worth that.

    But do you believe that’s what Tanev will be? I don’t. Therefore I believe his return should be at minimum one decent prospect plus a 1st round pick. Especially if a guy like Muzzin brings back way more than that.

    The failure rate of prospects and draft picks picked in that area is just way to high to give away good NHL talent for a single piece with zero NHL experience.

    • Our disagreements about Tanev aside, I think you’re making a mistake by equating the value of draft picks to that of drafted and developed players.

      We’ve seen what Liljegren can do as a pro. That makes him an entirely different asset than just another first round draft pick. The Canucks have had several extra years to pro-scout these guys after their draft year, and that makes acquiring them much less of a gamble than their draft pick equivalents.

      • truthseeker

        I don’t think so. AHL success doesn’t mean much. Again, just look at Pouliot. Or ask Boucher. And we haven’t seen what Liljegren can do even there. According to the toronto blogs he’s regressed in the minors. At this point he’s looking a lot like Pouliot.

        Most of the best NHL talent never spends much more than a season in the minors before they are up and contributing. Fact is the vast majority of these pro prospects flame out.

        That TSN ranking system actually takes that into account. Those numbers are based on picks that whatever way they went, through the minors for a few years, or straight into the NHL, became what they became. The gamble is the same if they have no NHL experience to show.

        • I’m sorry, but I simply have to disagree. AHL success is not meaningless, especially if it comes as a teenager. Pouliot and Boucher both played two seasons of junior hockey post-draft, Liljegren went straight to the pros.

          There is far less risk in trading for an almost 20-year-old than there is trading for a draft pick, because there are two or three post-draft seasons worth of data more to evaluate. That equates to more certainty.

          I’m not saying there’s no chance Liljegren will bust. I’m saying that the Canucks pro scouts and Jim Benning have a better chance of determining whether or not they think that will happen that they would with an undrafted player.

          It’s also simply not true that most of the best NHL talent only spends a season in the minors, it’s especially untrue for defensemen, and it’s triply untrue for defensemen who start in the minors at 18 years old!

          • truthseeker

            As I said though, the TSN ranking chart doesn’t discriminate by what route the player came from into the NHL. So when it says the average player picked from 10 to 20 is a “4”, that’s guys who did it straight into the league or guys who did it through the AHL or where ever else they came from and ended up a 200 game NHL player not considered a “regular”.

            If you think that equates to more “certainty” about a player then you’d have to provide some evidence of how that is so. Right now you’re simply stating it. I’m saying that chart includes that evidence. It’s a collective chart of prospects and draft picks. Just because the title is “Draft Pick Values” doesn’t mean he’s ignoring what you’re talking about.

            As to your last response, I’ll admit I didn’t do a complete analysis but I did take a look at the histories of many of the guys who are considered top line/top d players and almost none of them spent more than a season in the AHL significantly less in fact. Even “second line” guys didn’t spend a lot of time there. Take Kesler for example. Kind of the poster boy for “AHL development”. He spent just over a single season in total in the AHL before he was up.

            But hey by all means, if you’re looking for a topic to to a deep analysis on, I’d be interested to know the exact numbers of top 6/top 4 players who spent 2 or more seasons in minor pro hockey before becoming impact players in the NHL. If it’s a significant amount I’d be quite willing to change my opinion on it.

          • Bud Poile

            This argument is devoid of responsible transition by the .org.
            In order to contend instead of lapsing into mediocrity the goal is to ice the best squad possible now while transitioning to the future in the best and most responsible manner.
            Jettisoning your premier RHD for a prospect that is barely NHL ready for third pairing duties is not a pathway to meeting this end.
            Stetcher and Guddy are not top NHL D-men and unless a trade is made or a UFA is landed a responsible corporate team is not gutting their RHD position.

  • Smyl and Snepsts

    If you were going to do the trade then either Foote or maybe Fabbro. Hard no on Liljegren. Not showing well at all in the AHL and not at all the kind of shut down defenseman Hughes will need.

  • Robson Street

    I appreciate the idea of the series, but the assumption for this one, that a team will trade a young blue chip defenseman for an older high end defenseman is a bit suspect: it rarely happens.

    In the last three seasons the two closest trades that come to my mind are the Muzzin deal, which included Sean Durzi (but he’s a productive overager like Brassard or Eliot, not a blue chip guy) and maybe the McDonagh deal which included Hajek (Who? Yes, exactly).

    Am I wrong here?

  • Braindead Benning

    Curious why both Weber and Hamhuis currently playing for one of the top teams in the NHL who has drafted and developed the best D-men in the league were cast offs from the canucks?

    • Bud Poile

      Hamhuis has scored 4 NHL goals in the 2.5 + seasons since leaving the ‘Canucks.
      He has 0 goals and 4 assists in 42 games for the Preds.
      Weber has 5 NHL goals in the 2.5 + seasons since leaving the Canucks.

      • petey 40

        The sad old fantasist troll who Jackson told to LEAVE a year ago humiliates himself again… priceless.

        “Hamhuis is a UFA and nobody wants him. His career is over.” – Dud Poile
        Dallas and the elite Nashville Preds disagree… any comment?

        No surprise thought from the mug who told us..

        “Excellent player selection from the Benning team. Welcome to Vancouver,Olli” !!! – Dud Poile post draft 2017

        “Hutton/Gudbranson *feels* like an amazing pairing” . – Dud Poile

        Dud… the unwanted gift that just keeps on giving. LOLLLLLLLLL

  • Puck Viking

    I would love to see us see off the farm this season then load up with UFAs, undrafted free agents and offer sheet a young defenseman. Brandon Carlo would slot in great for the next 7 years and could easily replace Tanev.