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Alberga’s Take: Chris Tanev’s potential arrival is great news for Morgan Rielly

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Photo credit:Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Alberga
21 days ago
After months of speculation, it appears Chris Tanev is destined to be a Toronto Maple Leaf long-term —perhaps to finish his NHL career.
On Saturday afternoon following the conclusion of the NHL Draft in Las Vegas, the Leafs went out and acquired the 34-year-old’s rights from the Dallas Stars.
Now all that stands between the East York native and finally suiting up for his hometown team is ironing out a new contract.
The clock is ticking.
Having said all that, at this point, the two sides coming to terms on something seems like a formality. Assuming everything comes together, adding Tanev – regardless of what the contract looks like – should be looked at as a major win. He’s gritty, he’s tough, and most importantly, he’s a menace to play against. On top of all that, he’s a top-four right-handed shooting defenceman, something the Maple Leafs have coveted for years now. Simply put, Tanev checks a lot of boxes. Hell, even the analytics community adores him.
Realistically, Brad Treliving has had his eyes on Tanev – someone he’s extremely familiar with from his days in Calgary – for a while now. If you do recall, Toronto tried very hard to get him at the deadline from the Flames, but ultimately, they lost out to the Dallas Stars.
The best thing about Tanev is how selfless he is. He’s all about the team —plain and simple. He’s a fearless shutdown specialist who plays all the key defensive roles. Most importantly, his potential arrival would really make life easier for Morgan Rielly, who’s unquestionably been in over his head for many years now. The most exciting thing about all this is that it sounds that there’s way more coming in terms of blue line additions aside from Tanev. Translation: Help is on the way.
Last but not least, a Tanev/Craig Berube partnership feels like a match made in heaven. Big picture, he aligns perfectly with the beliefs of not only the coaching staff but management. If this does in fact come to fruition, Treliving and company deserve their flowers. At the very least, this is another big step in the right direction for a franchise that has lacked an identity over the past decade.
Coming soon once again: The black and blue Maple Leafs.

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