Tanev Headed to Texas

Well, it finally happened. After a month of speculation, topping trade target boards and even fans asking the team to sit him, the trade happened. Flames defenceman Chris Tanev is headed to Texas to join the Dallas Stars in a three-team trade that broke this evening.

Flames GM Craig Conroy continues to wheel and deal with his third big deal after shipping out Nikita Zadorov and Elias Lindholm earlier this season.

The trade breaks down as follows:

Tanev Headed to Texas

Calgary Flames Instant Trade Grade: B-

For myself, and many other Flames fans the reaction to this trade is a collective meh. Everyone knew Tanev had to be moved by the deadline. The rugged, right-handed defenceman has been a fixture on the Flames blueline for four years now. However, with an expiring contract and at 34 years old Tanev does not fit the Flames rebuilding timeline.

The Flames were rumoured to be asking for a first-round pick from this year, so picking up a second is a bit underwhelming. Artem Grushnikov, a 20-year-old Russian defenceman, is currently playing for the Texas Stars in the AHL. Grushnikov is 6’1”, 194 pounds, and currently has 5 points through 44 games with the team. He was a second-round pick by the Stars in 2021. He could potentially become a top-six defenceman in the NHL, but not a player who will raise the grade of this trade on his own.

Tanev Headed to Texas

The conditional third will only come to the Flames if the Stars make the Stanley Cup Final this year. The Flames retained 50% of Tanev’s contract, but with one year left on the deal, it won’t have much effect on their cap situation. Maybe our trade expectations were too high for a 34-year-old on an expiring deal, but the return seems underwhelming. The good news it the trade does signal the Flames are continuing with the rebuild despite recent promising play.

Dallas Stars Instant Trade Grade: A

For a team fighting to win the Central Division, it feels like the Stars got a steal. At 6’2”, 193 pounds, Tanev is headed to Texas in this three-team trade and will provide a steadying presence to the top four. He logs around 20 minutes a night for the Flames. His minute munching will also take the responsibility off players like Ryan Suter and Jani Hakanpaa.

Tanev’s 14 points may not pop off the page, but he’s not there to put up points. He’s safe defensively and is top-10 in the NHL in blocked shots and puck battles won per game. He will be a stalwart on the Stars penalty kill. Tanev is a perfect low-risk, high-reward team guy. And if he stays healthy through the playoffs it’s a dream come true for a Stars team who didn’t empty the cupboards for a rental.

Also coming over in the trade from the New Jersey Devils (who swapped the player and retained some of Tanev’s contract for a fourth-round pick) was goaltender prospect Cole Brady. Brady, an unsigned senior at the University of Massachusetts, is 4-2-2 with a 3.04 goals-against average and an .886 save percentage.

What’s next for the Flames?

GM Craig Conroy has signaled that the intention is still to sell the aging assets off the Flames roster. Even if the team does make the playoffs, Conroy wants to commit to the youth and get value back for expiring assets. The Tanev trade return is underwhelming, but it’s a good mindset for the Flames. My hope is the team continues to pursue this route and let the youth play as much as possible. For future Flames trades, and the best sports coverage online keep following Area 51 Sports Network.