With trade rumours swirling and the Vancouver Canucks in town last night, it really got me thinking about a Chris Tanev trade to his former team and why it could make total sense for both sides. The Flames took on the Canucks at home and while the Flames dominated and picked up a win, it still makes sense that they will be sellers as the season continues. With the start the Canucks have had and with a looming extension on the horizon for superstar Elias Pettersson, this may be the year for the Canucks to be going all in, and bringing in a guy like Tanev might make them a worthy contender.
Tanev heading home
Tanev obviously played a majority of his career in Vancouver before inking a four-year contract with the Flames back in the Fall of 2020. He was a mainstay for the Canucks, and a lot of Canuck fans were upset when not only the Canucks let him walk in free agency, but then he signed with a divisional rival. Even for us Flames fans it was a little weird seeing Tanev in a Flames jersey when the season began that following January, but from the moment he put on the Flaming ‘C,’ Tanev has been nothing but a rock on the backend for the Flames.
Vancouver early on this year has already shown some interest in the Flames rearguard—he could be the big piece they need to help put them over the top. Tanev knows the city, he knows a majority of the team, and while there is a new management and coaching team in place since he left, it wouldn’t be a major change for a player who spent 10 years with the club. It makes too much sense for the Flames to not at least look at the Canucks as an option for Tanev, and I can probably guarantee that Tanev would have no issue moving back to the Canucks for a playoff run.
Why the Canucks make sense for both sides
I have watched a good amount of Canucks games this year just to see what has been making them tick. The big part of their team is obviously the offence—they are deep, they are skilled, they are fast and they can put the puck in the back of the net. They have a world-class goaltender in Thatcher Demko and a bonafide number-one defenceman in Quinn Hughes. They have everything they need to be a contender, but there is one position they are lacking in, defensive depth.
The Canucks announced on Wednesday that Carson Soucy would be out long-term in an injury, and even before that, the Canucks weren’t exactly a juggernaut on the backend. Filip Hronek has been a welcomed addition on the backend, but after that it gets thin. We know the deficiencies that Tyler Myers has, and even though he is making six million dollars per year, he should not be in an NHL top four, and neither should long-time vet Ian Cole.
So, Tanev could be a piece that stabilizes the Canucks defence. He played well with Hughes when Hughes was just a rookie, so there should still be some chemistry there, but we know how well Tanev can play with almost anyone, heck he has made Dennis Gilbert look like an All-Star this year when he played with him. So, if there is one position the Canucks could be looking to upgrade at, it would be their backend.
Now, from the Flames point of view, it is pretty easy. The Canucks have a solid group of prospects, but more importantly, they have almost all of their picks for the upcoming draft, including their own first-round pick. I get the feeling that picks and prospects are what the Flames will be looking for as they begin to shop their guys around, so the Canucks having both is a good sign. Tanev would probably be open to signing an extension in Vancouver, so that could drive the price up even more for the Flames. We have seen the reports of the Flames not wanting to trade within the division, but if the offer is there, you have to go for it.
A deal to be made
There is still lots of time between now and the trade deadline that is in March, but with Tanev’s injury history (we saw him leave a couple of times last night), it may not be the worst idea for the Flames to start looking for potential trade partners at this point in time. There has already been a good amount of interest from teams inquiring about Tanev, and there is never a bad time to begin adding assets for the future, so if there is a deal to be made now, the Flames might just have to put the pen to paper and make the trade.