The Oilers are reportedly ‘making a push’ for Flames defenceman Chris Tanev

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 month ago
As the trade market continues to percolate in the NHL three weeks out of the March 8th deadline, the Edmonton Oilers are reportedly making a push for one of the top defencemen on the market.
That’s none other than Calgary Flames defenceman Chris Tanev, who came in the No. 2 spot on Daily Faceoff’s Franks Seravalli’s most recent trade targets list.
The recent report of the Oilers’ push, however, came from Vancouver’s Rick Dhaliwal, who is one of the definitive insiders covering the Canucks.
Dhaliwal was on Sportsnet 650’s Halford & Brough show Friday, where he discussed the latest about Tanev’s availability:
The Canucks are continuing to monitor everything, big and small. They’re continuing to work the phones and their preference is not to trade any more first round draft picks, but as I like to say all the time, hockey people change your minds. You can look into all players, big names, depth players, it’s all about the cost of acquisition.
They’re still looking for a defencemen, can’t have enough for the playoffs, ty to be seven, eight deep on the blueline.
The price on Chris Tanev is obviously pretty steep, but that’s when teams like the Canucks have to get creative. When you like a player as much as the Canucks like Tanev, you got to get creative. The Canucks have not given up on Chris Tanev.
Sources say the Oilers are making a push for Tanev. You certainly don’t want him going to that team if you’re the Canucks, for sure. Dallas, high interest in Tanev. Many others: Maple Leafs still in there, Winnipeg (too).
Dhaliwal went on to say that Canucks winger Brock Boeser was on a podcast this week, raving about how much the team loves Tanev as a player.
And for the Edmonton Oilers, they clearly see something there, too. Dating back to early January, Ken Holland and co. have shown interest in Tanev, and continuing reports since have solidified that.
At 34 years old, Tanev isn’t as spry as he once was, but he remains an incredibly effective player. This season, according to hockeyviz.com, Tanev has provided offence at a one percent rate above league average, and defence at a staggering 19 percent rate above league average. All in all, hockeyviz.com cites his impact at that well above a first-pairing defenceman — something he’s maintained in three of the last four seasons.
Here, for comparison’s sake, are the Oilers’ six defencemen and where hockeyviz.com pegs their impacts, represented as a percentage above, or below league average:
Oilers individual impacts vs. Chris Tanev. Data via hockeyviz.com.
Tanev’s ability as a shutdown defenceman is something that the Oilers would highly covet, as it represents a stunning 23 percent positive swing over Cody Ceci, who Tanev would logically replace.
The issue, however, will be the cost of acquisition. A pending UFA, Tanev carries a $4.5-million cap hit this season, and while the Calgary Flames have space to retain the needed salary, that always costs some level of asset(s). But with the Oiler’s current cap situation, and adding the factor of in-season prorated cap hits, Edmonton would need the Flames to retain roughly $1-million, assuming the Oilers send assets Calgary’s way that isn’t currently on the roster.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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