Jason Botchford of the Province writes today asking about the future of Canucks defenseman Chris Tanev. Botchford compares the possibility of such a deal to the Adam Larsson for Taylor Hall trade, suggesting that since Tanev is also a right handed defensive defenseman, but better at it, one should wonder what the Canucks could get in exchange for him if Larsson was able to bring a player of Hall’s caliber back to the Devils.
Botchford discusses Tanev’s prowess at things measured by analytics, and his conclusion is fairly tempered. He writes that the Canucks should certainly explore the possibility, but not be looking to give him away. Given Tanev’s age, that seems like a fair assessment. The Canucks may enter a rebuild stage if they don’t succeed this year. They’ll have a head start, given their relative wealth of young players. Because Tanev is just 26, it’s not hard to imagine him still being useful by the time the Canucks are ready to compete. If they can get high end young pieces from a team more desperate to win now, it would be worth exploring long term, but Tanev has too much value and is too young to be just dumped for the sake of getting younger. Tanev also plays the right side, something that is currently scarce, and highly valued. Data suggests that defense pairings should involve one player who shoots each way.
Here are some more links to start your hockey morning:
- Speaking of skilled defensemen to have played for the Canucks, Aftonbladet in Sweden reports that Mattias Ohlund has retired at the age of 39. Ohlund, who also spent two seasons in Tampa Bay, has been out since 2011 with a knee injury, and has been on the Lightning’s long-term injured reserve ever since. It’s a sad way to go out, but Ohlund had a really strong career, and signed one of the earlier bonus-laden offer sheets with the Toronto Maple Leafs, though it was matched by the Canucks. Ohlund had yet to play a game in the NHL.
- Mike Halford of Pro Hockey Talk at NBC Sports writes that now that the Avalanche have re-signed Mikhail Grigorenko, their attention is squarely on the status of defenseman Tyson Barrie. Barrie, who has an arbitration hearing nine days from now, has been subject to trade rumors all summer, and while Avalanche GM Joe Sakic says he isn’t trading him, the negotiations have been drawn out, and speculation has persisted. Barrie will turn 25 on Tuesday, and is coming off a season in which he scored 13 goals, and 49 points, following up on his 2015 year that saw him score 12 goals, 52 points, both very impressive for a defenseman.
- Larry Brooks at the New York Post reports on the difficulties in the Chris Kreider arbitration case. Kreider, 25, is eligible for unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2018, meaning that a two year arbitration decision takes him to the open market, and a one year deal leaves the Rangers exposed to the possibility of a breakout year, and deciding whether to commit a lot of money and term, or letting him go to arbitration again, and then hitting the market.
- Mark Divver of the Providence Journal tweets that Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman was in Foxboro, Massachusetts last night, watching unsigned Sabres prospect Jimmy Vesey. Vesey, who played at Harvard last year, and whose rights were traded to the Sabres by Nashville for a third round pick in June’s entry draft, can become an unrestricted free agent on August 15th, and says he plans to.