It’s something that seems to have become in the modern NHL defensive defensemen. They’re certainly out there but overlooked and undercovered. Chris Tanev is one of the most recognizable of that breed of defensemen after the Dallas Stars acquired him in a three-way trade with the Calgary Flames and the New Jersey Devils. Sealing up the Stars’ most significant need on the roster.

Playing with Vancouver and Calgary

Tanev made a name for himself while playing for the Vancouver Canucks from 2011 to 2020. He was part of that Canuck’s Stanley Cup Finals run in 2011. While they lost in seven games to the Boston Bruins that year, Tanev still adds that x-factor as the Stars hope to advance to the final round for the second time in five years.

After a decade with the Vancouver organization, Tanev would spend close to the next four years with the Calgary Flames. Much like Jay Bouwmeester, Tanev has evolved into a more defensive defenseman as he’s gotten older.

His first 2 games in Dallas

While line shuffling is inevitable for many reasons, Tanev seems to have found a common spot on the second blue line. He played alongside a fellow defensive defenseman in Esa Lindell, solidifying a shutdown blue line to strengthen the Stars’ future playoff hopes.

Not only does Tanev play a blue-collar, dirty defensive game he scores bombs from the blue line, too. He is making life frustrating for future opponents who have to worry about keeping yet another guy off the score sheet. This is another compliment for an already deep, offensively potent team.

Other teams like the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights made waves in the headlines for adding quantity. For the Stars, it was the quality of additions to the team, as well as not losing anybody in return like Logan Stankoven. Yet another win for the 2023 GM of the year, Jim Nill and the Stars.

Upgrading playoff Stars

Defense wins championships. It’s an old cliche tossed around in all sports with a ring of truth. Come the postseason time, the game becomes more defensive-oriented. With elimination and the Stanley Cup on the line, teams commit to more conservative play. The game gets greasier more physical, and there’s more incentive to keep the puck out of your own net.

Photo credit: X @NHL

Dallas is a team that has the depth scoring and a goalie in Jake Oettinger, who’s eager to show he’s put past inconsistencies behind him. Improving the cracks in their defensive armor, the Stars see Tanev scoring, too. Tanev looks to take the Stars places come spring and summer time.


Featured photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

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