Chris Tanev identifies the first person on the Maple Leafs to reach out to him

Ryan Smitheram
July 10, 2024  (9:37)

Chris Tanev excited to come home to Toronto after splitting last season in Calgary and Dallas
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Chris Tanev is a Toronto native, so he's not exactly new to the city, but he is new to the Toronto Maple Leafs, so it was important when someone reached out to him right away.

While you'd expect that the first call you'd receive upon coming over to Toronto might be that of your captain welcoming you to the team, Tanev revealed on Tuesday that it was actually new Leafs head coach Craig Berube who reached out first.
The Leafs acquired Tanev's negotiating rights on the second day of the NHL Entry Draft two weeks ago and ended up signing the 34-year-old to a six-year deal that will carry a $4.5M cap hit.
Tanev has already made his presence known in Toronto, showing up to sign autographs at hockey camps in the first few days of his tenure as a Leaf. Yesterday, the rugged blueliner was on TSN 1050's 'OverDrive' and was asked about the chance to play in Toronto and to play for Berube - something that appears fo excite him.
"Obviously, Coach is a winner, he's won a Cup, he's played a long time in the league, he knows the game," said Tanev. "Right when Toronto traded for me, he was the first call that I got and he wanted to express how he felt about me and where I could play in the lineup and how I could help the team.

After signing, I met him last Wednesday and sat down for a bit and got to know each other a little bit. That's a big part of being successful, just to talk and communicate and he was awesome from the short time I've known him."

Since being named the head coach of the Leafs, Berube has made it a point to meet with many of his players already, including Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews, as they prepare for the upcoming season. It's something that has not gone unnoticed and something that the players have appreciated, at least those that have spoken about their meetings with him.
Berube appears to be a team favourite already with the players, but we will see how long that lasts once the season begins and it's time to do the work.
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Chris Tanev identifies the first person on the Maple Leafs to reach out to him

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