Chris Tanev reveals his thoughts on where he fits in the Maple Leafs lineup

Tom Banks
July 10, 2024  (10:29)

Chris Tanev, formerly of the Dallas Stars.
Photo credit: Sportsnet

The Toronto Maple Leafs finally got their man this off-season, and now Chris Tanev has opened up on the upcoming Leafs blue line and his role.

After their blue line struggled late in the season, Brad Treliving and the Toronto Maple Leafs made it their mission this summer to upgrade the defense, and they've done just that. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Jani Hakanpaa and Chris Tanev have all been added, but it's the defensive minded veteran Tanev that has highlighted a strange off-season for the Maple Leafs.
Now, after playing alongside Esa Lindell rather than Dallas Stars superstar Miro Heiskanen, Tanev has opened up on his flexibility as a defenseman and where he sees himself in this Toronto lineup.
"That's going to be the coach's call at the end of the day. I've done both throughout my career," Tanev explained. "I feel like I've played a couple of years ago with Quinn Hughes (with the Vancouver Canucks). I played a lot with Noah Hanifin in Calgary (with the Flames) and then playing with Esa.

"I think those are sort of three different, different styles of players. And I think we all had success together during the times we played together."
Whether he plays alongside Morgan Rielly or slots in lower down the lineup to give depth and experience alongside another Maple Leafs defenseman, Tanev is confident in the versatility that will allow him to thrive in any role. The off-season is far from over for Toronto, so we could still see another addition or a blockbuster trade, but at this point, wherever he's slotted in, Tanev could be the missing piece for a lineup that's desperate to take a step forward in 2024/25.