The Flames Have Revealed Their Price For Chris Tanev And The Leafs May Not Be Able To Afford It

Graham Montgomery
December 13, 2023  (6:53 PM)

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been rumored to be heavily involved with the Flames in trade negotiations over defenseman Chris Tanev. Now one insider believes he knows what the price is and the Leafs may not be able to afford it after all.

Lebrun Reveals Flames Asking Price For Tanev

NHL insider Pierre Lebrun reported today that he believes the Flames are asking for a 1st round pick in exchange for Chris Tanev without any salary retention involved.
The question is, what would it take for the Leafs to force the issue ahead of time? A first-round pick, that's probably what. I think if the Leafs were willing to move their June first-rounder, they could potentially entice the Flames into getting this done sooner rather than later.

LeBrun also reported that the Flames would rather deal Tanev closer to the trade deadline, when there will likely be more teams bidding for his services. This is why the Leafs would have to give up a 1st round pick for him if they want him now.
As I reported last week, the Flames have indicated to teams with interest in Tanev that they're in no hurry to make a decision on that front. The veteran blueliner means a lot to them both on and off the ice, and there's a lot of hockey still to be played this season.

Can The Leafs Afford To Trade For Chris Tanev?

At this point, the Leafs stock of future assets is in a dismal state. The team has no first round pick in 2025 and no second round picks in each of the next three drafts. While the technically can afford to give up a 1st round pick in a Tanev deal, that would leave the team with basically zero draft capital in the next two seasons. That could have major implications on the Leafs in a few year's time.
As such, the team may be reluctant to trade for Tanev if that is the price. Plus, other teams can certainly afford to offer more if they are so inclined, and there is interest in Tanev from around the league.
At this point, the Leafs are in an extremely tough situation. Hopefully they can figure out a creative way to stay competitive this year without taking a third mortgage out on the team's future.