Chris Tanev reveals why he ultimately opted to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs

Ryan Smitheram
July 2, 2024  (12:41)

Chris Tanev joins the Leafs on a 6-year deal
Photo credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY

The Toronto Maple Leafs jumped to the front of the line when they acquired Chris Tanev's rights, and they were successful in locking him up to a long-term deal.

It took a few days, but the Leafs got the right-shot, top-pairing defensemen they have long coveted, locked up Tanev to a 6-year deal worth $4.5M per season. The 34-year-old from Toronto returns home after multiple failed attempts by the Leafs and GM Brad Treliving to acquire him last season.
Following the signing of his contract, Tanev spoke with the media and explained why he signed with the Leafs, citing the talent on the team and playing for Craig Berube as a couple of reasons, with being in closer proximity to family being another.
"I'm from here. I grew up here. I grew up in East York so I'm a Toronto kid & definitely excited to raise my family here. Being able to be close to home, being around grandparents is important.

It's not like I'm leaving Dallas to go a team that hasn't been successful over the last number of years. There's a ton of elite talent and a new coach, a Cup champion. He's going to bring a different aspect, different game style maybe to how we want to play here," said Tanev before elaborating on what Craig Berube spoke to him about.

"He's a Cup winner. He has high expectations on his players. Both were very intriguing to me. He wants to bring a philosophy & approach that is suited to win games & that's extremely important to me as well."

Tanev is slated to pair with Morgan Rielly on the Leafs' top pairing and Tanev noted he had already spoken to Rielly the past couple of days, even before his deal was finalized, about playing together.
"Talked to him over the last day & a half about his thoughts about playing with me & being a partner, potentially, with me. That can potentially be a good fit. He's one of those elite players that there's not many around"

While some are questioning the length and cap hit of the deal, the Leafs are hoping to get two or three solid years out of Tanev. The rugged defenseman isn't the best skater and he's not known for his point production, but he provides the Leafs a stable defensive presence that is physical and willing to block shots with whatever he can get in front of them with.
In 792 NHL games, Tanev has scored 33 goals and 157 assists and averaged 19:59 of ice time for his entire career.
Source: HockeyDB
Chris Tanev Player Profile
Chris Tanev reveals why he ultimately opted to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs

Did the Leafs overpay for Tanev?

Yes24028.8 %
No45354.3 %
Not sure, ask me again in a few years14116.9 %
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