With the expansion draft looming, now is the time to move Chris Tanev. There are teams in the league who will not be able to protect all of their “better” players and Jim Benning and the Vancouver Canucks can take advantage of this situation if they play their cards right.
At this point the Canucks expansion draft protection list probably looks something like this. Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Loui Eriksson, Bo Horvat, Brandon Sutter, Sven Baertschi and Markus Granlund up front, Alex Edler, Chris Tanev and Erik Gudbranson on the back end and Jacob Markstrom in goal. But what if the team stepped up and moved Chris Tanev before the expansion draft and before his No Trade Clause kicks in on July 1st?
With the going rate for established defencemen being a pretty solid return, especially for Dmen who happen to shoot right…Jim Benning could net a solid return, maybe a young prospect and a pick. Now that JB has turned Tanev into a prospect and a pick, he could in turn flip that pick to one of the teams that are over the expansion barrel for one of their young D. The Canucks could then use the “Tanev” protected spot on the newly acquired, younger Dman.
Chris Tanev has been a very good player for the Vancouver Canucks for a number of years and has been a good story here as an undrafted player who became a top pairing defender. Some folks may balk at the idea of moving out one of the team’s better defencemen at a time when they are going into a rebuild. There is a great case to be made for keeping the steady defender around to help mentor the young group coming in behind him, however I am of the opinion that the team should move him now while his value is still high. Tanev has had his share of injuries that have slowed him over the last few seasons and has a NTC kicking in on July 1st. Now is the time to make this happen.
Losing Tanev may hurt a bit in the short term, but imagine adding a Matt Dumba, Jonas Brodin, Shea Theodore etc to the young D core here. We’ve heard the team management talk about how they see their back end as an area of strength….now, this was before they lost Nikita Tryamkin to the KHL but I could still see how they can make a move without crippling their team. By moving out Tanev they can acquire another young prospect to play in Utcia/JR next season as well as replacing him on the blueline in Vancouver. It is also quite likely that the team could save a few dollars in cap space for the first year or two after the trade as the younger player will likely be making a little less than Tanev’s AAV for the next couple of seasons.
Many fans in this marketplace don’t have a lot of confidence in this management group to be forward thinking enough to pull off a deal like this. They could possibly win a few fans over by moving out another piece who is getting older and more fragile by the season for a younger, cheaper option who fits better with the young core group going forward. All of this would need to be done ahead of the expansion draft in order to take advantage of the situation at hand, so it doesn’t leave a ton of time to strike a deal. Many in the media have said how they expect a flurry of expansion draft based trades to come as the NHL gets set to welcome the Vegas Golden Knights as their 31st franchise. Let’s hope that Jim Benning and his crew in Vancouver are looking at every option available to them to improve their roster for next season and they jump in with both feet. Time to be decisive and make the tough calls. Those deadline deals were a great start. Keep the ball rolling Jimbo.