In our profiles of players that could be the next captain of the Calgary Flames there are a lot of names that most would expect, as well as a few under the radar selections that most would not have been at the top of the list.
The toughest thing now with identifying additional candidates is that most of the players left on the roster who could fit the role are in need of new contracts next summer. Despite being strong captain material, it’s hard to name a player that may not be sticking around long-term.
That is true of our next player: Chris Tanev.
What makes Tanev an enticing captain candidate
Tanev is on the final year of his contract signed in the fall of 2020 after spending his entire career with the Vancouver Canucks. The eyes rolled when he signed the deal, but has since earned himself a spot among the fans favourite lists due to his stellar defensive play and warrior mentality.
Despite being a pending unrestricted free agent, there is a clear split among fans whether or not the team should keep Tanev for this season and potentially beyond or capitalize on his massive trade value. The latter would make more sense from a pure asset management standpoint, but the former could be what the team opts for specifically if they want to name him captain.
Tanev has a wealth of leadership experience in the NHL. He held the “A” with the Vancouver Canucks for four seasons and was an alternate captain with the Flames last season. Many of his teammates and within the organization continuously praise his leadership on the ice.
Take a look at Oliver Kylington for example, playing alongside Tanev for one season skyrocketed his game. They will clearly be looking for that magic to return this season as well.
Despite being one of the more soft spoken players when it comes to the media and off ice personas, Tanev is a driving force for the players when it comes to effort. Many look back to the series against the Edmonton Oilers two seasons ago as the perfect example of what this team was without Tanev at 100%.
That being said, Tanev has more working against him for the captaincy than for him at this point. First off, his contract situation almost completely removes him from the conversation. But also Tanev’s age and injury history may be catching up to him. Although Mark Giordano was captain for most of his time during his 30s, he didn’t have as rough of an injury history as Tanev does. With 717 games in the NHL, Tanev has been what some would say an “older” 33-year-old. His shot blocking and sacrificing of his body can only go for so long.
Oh captain, my captain
Despite the fact that his teammates may run through a wall for him, Tanev is best suited as an alternate captain again for this season. He may be one of most sought after trade deadline acquisitions come the spring and the team would be wise not to hand the “C” that may not be here in a few months.
Tanev is undoubtedly one of the team’s best leaders though and if they have any chance of righting the ship, they will need everything he has for as long as he is a member of the Flames.
Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire