Jumpstart the rebuild.
That’s what’s on the minds of a lot of fans regarding the rebuilding Vancouver Canucks these days, and the most mentioned name recently is Chris Tanev.
You can understand why.
Tanev, while still very effective, turns 28 years old later this year. He’s in the prime of his career, but he could be over the hill by the time the Canucks are ready to compete for a Stanley Cup.
Perhaps there’s a deal to be made with the Dallas Stars.
The Stars, holders of the third overall draft pick in the upcoming NHL Draft, are considering trading it. Dallas GM Jim Nill is said to be listening to offers for the pick, and TSN insider Pierre LeBrun has said he believes the Canucks have had discussions with the Stars about acquiring the pick.
Dallas Stars definitely listening on the No. 3 overall pick. Handful of teams have inquired already. Would have to really make sense.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 1, 2017
Trading the third pick makes a ton of sense from the Stars perspective. Dallas is firmly in a win-now mode, despite coming off a disappointing season. They finished with just 79 points after a 109-point campaign the year previous. They’ve got Tyler Seguin locked up for two more years at a reasonable $5.75 million cap hit, plus Jamie Benn in the prime of his career. They also just solved their goaltending crisis by signing former Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop.
The Stars are looking for players who could improve their team right away and their biggest need is on defence. The top two defensive prospects in this year’s draft – Miro Heiskanen and Timothy Liljegren – will likely take years to develop.
Enter the Canucks and Tanev.
Tanev is a player that could help the Stars greatly, as a reliable minute-munching defenceman.
For Vancouver, it’s important to strike while the iron is hot. Tanev has a modified no-trade clause that kicks in on July 1, so the opportunity to trade him without any restrictions is closing soon.
He’s signed to a club-friendly contract at $4.45 million per year for the next three years, so it’s an easy contract to move. The Canucks could make it even easier on Dallas by taking back Antti Niemi and his $4.5 million cap hit. Niemi could also serve as a solid backup to Jacob Markstrom if they decide to anoint him their starter.
Getting two top five draft picks would accelerate the rebuild tremendously for Vancouver.
The Canucks could take a centre as well as a defenceman in that scenario, which would greatly bolster the franchise’s prospect pool and give hope to a fanbase that desperately needs it.
It would be sad to see fan favourite Chris Tanev leave town, but for a rebuilding team like the Canucks, the chance to get two top five picks is too good to pass up. Tanev is the most valuable trade asset the Canucks have, so it’s time GM Jim Benning uses it to supercharge the rebuild.