With all the talk about NHL Free Agency, Vancity Buzz takes a look at who the Canucks have eligible for free agency next year. This short series continues today with Chris Tanev.
Current Cap Hit: $900,000
Previous Seasons Stats:
2011 – 29 GP/0 Goals/1 Assist
2012 – 25 GP/0 Goals/2 Assists
Yes, he’s not an unrestricted free agent, but with Tanev look to crack the starting six defense corps, this contract year will be an important one. The stoic defenseman looks set to breakout onto the Canucks’ starting day roster with the departure of Aaron Rome and should factor into the Canucks’ bottom pairing. Though on paper he’s inexperienced, Tanev has displayed poise beyond his years and is a good compliment to Keith Ballard who should also find himself playing consistently under Alain Vigneault. The one knock on Tanev thus far has been his offensive capabilities, specifically his shot, or rather his lack of one.
Word is though that Tanev has been focussing on that area this offseason, and that has to been music to the Canucks’ ears as Tanev already possesses a decent passing game to go along with sound defensive skills. The fact he is a right hand shot, something the Canucks’ don’t have much of, could be a huge asset to the power play if indeed his shooting is improved. If Tanev shows any offensive output this season, the Canucks’ may have an even bigger steal on their hands than previously thought.
Prediction: Three or four year deal with an approximately 3.0 million dollar cap hit.
If there’s a lockout: Headlining a promising crop of defenders including Yann Sauve, Kevin Connauton and Frank Corrado, keeping Chris Tanev around is a no-brainer.