Report: Maple Leafs to target Brandon Montour, Chris Tanev if both hit free agency

Photo credit:© Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Mazzei
1 month ago
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The Leafs will attempt to do a makeover of their blue line and reports indicate there are two key players they have their eyes on.
Nick Kypreos of the Toronto Star mentioned Brandon Montour and Chris Tanev as two defenders Brad Treliving will target if both are available on July 1st.
“It’s no secret the Leafs will be targeting Florida’s Montour if the pending free agent remains unsigned after this Cup final,” Kypreos wrote. “Chris Tanev is another name that never left Treliving’s radar.”
It’s not surprising the Leafs are targeting Montour and Tanev, should they remain unsigned given that there were reports that they are looking at every defender in the league. After all, Treliving has made it his mission since being appointed as GM to improve the backend since it has been an area of weakness during the Auston Matthews era from the very beginning. It’s not a shock to see Montour and Tanev as two such pieces they will take a run at because they will fit the mould of what they will be looking to add on their backend.
Montour is what the Leafs hoped they would get out of John Klingberg and then some. Not only is he a right-shot defenceman who is a great skater and can be a quarterback on the power play, but he would add some snarl and not be afraid to engage in scrums or the physical game. This isn’t the first time the Leafs have been reported to express interest in his services, and perhaps it can finally come to fruition mere days after he potentially wins the Stanley Cup.
As for Tanev, it has been well-documented that Treliving has long wanted to bring him into the fold and the two parties have been linked together for months. Let’s not forget that the Leafs made a strong push to get both Tanev and Nikita Zadorov during the season and that was apparent when the latter mentioned Toronto as a team he would be open to move to after making a trade request. Although the reported offer was a lot better than what the Flames ultimately got for both players, the reason a deal never materialized was due to disagreements on salary retention.
It goes without saying that all of this will be for naught if Montour and Tanev are re-upped by the Panthers and Stars respectively, but the fact that both players are confirmed to be on the Leafs’ radar is certainly intriguing nonetheless. There will no doubt be plenty of other teams that attempt to outbid the Leafs if both get to the open market so caution is needed to avoid an overpay.
Make no mistake about it: Montour and Tanev make a lot of sense for what the Leafs will be looking to add to their defence and it is no wonder Kypreos is reporting the two are in the team’s sights.
In 66 games, Montour recorded 33 points (eight goals and 25 assists) while he has 10 points (three goals and seven assists) in 20 playoff games going into Game 4 of the Final. Meanwhile, Tanev registered a combined 19 points (two goals and 17 assists) in 75 games while nabbing two assists in 19 postseason contests.

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