Stars acquire veteran defenseman in three-team trade

With the NHL trade deadline more than a week away, the Dallas Stars made a strong addition along the blue line, acquiring veteran defenseman Chris Tanev in the three-team deal with the Calgary Flames and New Jersey Devils. 

Tanev isn’t an asset on the power play, but he’s a reliable defenseman who plays the hard minutes, even-strength and on the penalty kill while contributing a little on offense. 

This season, the 34-year-old is averaging 19:50 time on ice per game. Meanwhile, Tanev has recorded 171 blocked shots this season, second in the NHL behind Nick Seeler (175) of the Philadelphia Flyers, per Statmuse.

On the offensive side, Tanev has recorded 14 points (one goal, 13 assists) in 56 games, his highest output since 2021-22, when he registered a career-high 28 points after playing in all 82 regular-season games with the Flames. 

The deal’s timing caught a few off guard, with nine days remaining until the NHL trade deadline on March 8. However, Sportsnet analyst Eric Francis said the Flames decided the risk of playing Tanev was too great, opting for a good return when offered. 

The Flames received a 2024 second-round pick, conditional 2026 third-round pick and defenseman Artem Grushnikov in exchange for Tanev. The 48th overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, Grushnikov recorded a goal and four assists with the Stars minor league affiliate, the Texas Stars, this season, his first in the American Hockey League. 

Meanwhile, the Devils helped facilitate the deal, getting 50% of Tanev’s retained salary and trading netminder Cole Brady to the Stars for a 2026 fourth-rounder. 

Trading Tanev was likely inevitable, but many throughout hockey believed a team acquiring him would have to give up at least one first-round draft choice. However, while the return is nothing to sniff at, a pick in the opening round didn’t change hands. 

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