We know the New Jersey Devils have expressed interest in upgrading their blue line. Calgary Flames defenseman, Nikita Zadorov, requested a trade via his agent Dan Milstein. General manager Tom Fitzgerald quickly placed a call to Flames GM Craig Conroy to inquire about the 6-foot-6 defenseman. We also learned the interest between Zadorov and the Devils is mutual. However, with Calgary potentially purging, Fitzgerald also inquired about defenseman Chris Tanev.
The Fourth Period reports, “The Toronto Maple Leafs, Dallas Stars, New Jersey Devils, and Vancouver Canucks are among a number of teams believed to have expressed interest in Zadorov and Tanev.”
According to multiple reports, the Flames were on the verge of extending defenseman Noah Hanifin. However, after a stretch of questionable performances, Calgary is reevaluating its future. As a result, they have multiple pieces on the trade block, including pending free-agent defenseman Tanev.
Tanev is in the final year of his contract which carries an AAV of $4.5 million. The Devils have $1,294,798 in accrued cap space so far this season. However, TFP also reported that Calgary knows they’ll need to retain salary of some of their pending free agents.
Tanev is certainly a good fit for New Jersey. The Devils could stand to use a little bit of muscle in their lineup who can also defend well in his own end. Additionally, Tanev is likely to come at a cheaper cost than Zadorov. The 33-year-old blue liner can more easily be utilized as a rental player as the Devils have young prospects such as Simon Nemec knocking on the door to the NHL.
Looking at recent history, New Jersey’s obviously lacking a certain toughness in their lineup, especially with Timo Meier on the shelf. Jacob Trouba terrorized New Jersey last weekend. As a player who has a physical history with Trouba, Tanev will certainly help match the New York Rangers’ physical intensity.
Not to mention, the Ontario native remains one of Calgary’s better defenders. Through 18 games this season, Tanev has accrued an excellent 53.46 CF% and 54.23 xGF%, according to Natural Stat Trick.
The Flames are reportedly in no rush to make moves as they continue to evaluate the trade market. However, the Devils remain interested in some of the pieces that could be leaving the North.