Maple Leafs sign potential Canucks UFA target Chris Tanev to six-year deal

Photo credit:© Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
10 days ago
As free agent frenzy approaches, more and more names that the Vancouver Canucks may have been interested in are coming off the board. Over the past 24 hours, Jake Guentzel signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning after they traded a third-round pick to acquire his exclusive negotiating rights. The Canucks never even got a chance to sell the player that many believed to be their number one target on signing in Vancouver.
Another player they were rumoured to be interested in was former Canucks defenceman Chris Tanev, who couldn’t come to terms on a contract with the Dallas Stars. But again, they didn’t even get a chance to pitch him on a reunion to Vancouver because, at the tail end of the NHL Draft, the Toronto Maple Leafs swooped in and traded a third-round pick for Tanev.
That’s far from a guarantee that they’ll get a contract done, of course, but this morning, hours before the start of free agency, news broke that Tanev and the Leafs had come to terms on a deal.
The deal is for six years and will pay the 34-year-old Tanev $4.5 million annually. Many have already pointed out that the Leafs will have no problem putting Tanev on “Robidas Island,” the fun name for players the Leafs stow away on Long-Term Injured Reserve.
Tanev, 34, was acquired by the Dallas Stars at this year’s trade deadline from the Calgary Flames in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick and defenceman prospect Artem Grushnikov. But where the defensive defenceman truly shines is in the playoffs. The undrafted free agent had 73 blocked shots and played a significant shut-down role in round one, not allowing a goal at 5-on-5 when he was on the ice.
Vancouver will have to look elsewhere for a new defensive defenceman to round out their blue line.
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