Vancouver Canucks Could Consider Trading D Chris Tanev

The Vancouver Canucks are struggling to produce offense right now and may look to use their blue line to acquire some more firepower.

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Chris Tanev is arguably the most talked-about player when it comes to trade proposals involving the team. As a 27-year-old, he is still in the prime of his career and it’s fair to say he is one of the most valuable assets the Canucks have to offer in a trade right now. But would the Canucks actually consider pulling the trigger?

Jason Botchford of The Province recently considered this idea and said it would have to take a lot to bring the Canucks to make that move. Somebody like New Jersey Devils forward Taylor Hall.

As I’m sure you remember, Hall was traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Devils in the offseason for defenseman Adam Larsson. The Oilers desperately needed an upgrade on their blue line and were willing to pay a high price to make it work. So far, the move has worked out for both teams. The Oilers are second in the league right now and Hall has seven points in eight games with the Devils.

The Canucks do not lack depth on the blue line right now. Ben Hutton, Erik Gudbranson, Troy Stecher and Olli Juolevi all look to be big pieces of the Canucks blue line as we head into the next generation of Canucks defensemen. That could make a defenseman like Tanev tradeable.

Tanev is a fantastic shutdown defenseman. He doesn’t use his physical presence to shut people down but instead uses his skating and agility to beat the attacking forward. In a game that is quickly becoming all about speed, that is a much-needed skill-set to have at your disposal.

He doesn’t produce offense like the Victor Hedmans of the world, but if he could figure that aspect of his game out, he would gain some appreciation outside of Canucks Nation. Tanev is great at starting a breakout but doesn’t yet have the stats to show for it.

With the defensive depth the Canucks have coming up the pipeline, it’s not crazy to think they have considered this move. The Canucks don’t have a Connor McDavid or an Auston Matthews to compete with the next generation of elite talent. Although Brock Boeser is impressing in college, we haven’t seen what he can do at the NHL level and thus it’s unfair to put him in that conversation.

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Furthermore, defensemen — especially right-handed ones — are always a hot commodity around the league. In the last year we’ve seen defensemen like the aforementioned Larsson, Seth Jones, P.K. Subban and Shea Weber all moved in huge deals. If the Canucks decide to pull the trigger on a move with Tanev, you can bet the return would be just as high.

Aside from the Jones trade, all of those moves happened in the offseason. It’s a lot harder to pull off this sort of move during the season. Thus, it’s not likely the Canucks can move Tanev to help their offensive woes right now. In all likelihood, that will have to come from within the organization. Whether it’s Loui Eriksson, a combination of Bo Horvat, Sven Baertschi and Jake Virtanen or Anton Rodin when he returns from injury, the Canucks will have to figure this out from within.

If this remains a problem through 82 games, the Canucks should definitely consider moving Tanev. Because of his age, he likely doesn’t fit in to the core group of this Canucks team. However, he could definitely help teams around the league looking to make a push for the Stanley Cup in the next few years.

The Canucks have the defensive depth to pull off a move like this. It may not happen today, tomorrow or next month. But there is strong likelihood that it does happen.

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