Insider Submits Chris Tanev's Price Point In Trade Talks

Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brad Treliving knows that Chris Tanev would be a huge boost to his blueline come playoff time. After all, he's the GM that signed Tanev in Calgary to the 4-year deal that expires at the end of this season. 

But what cost are Treliving and the Leafs willing to pay for the 33-year-old elite defender? And when? 

According to NHL Insider Pierre LeBrun, appearing on TSN Radio on Thursday, the Flames are in no rush at this point to trade Tanev, and at this point in time, it would likely take a first-rounder to pry the highly-valued D-man away from Calgary. LeBrun figures the Leafs would prefer to find another way to pull it off... but they don't even have a second-round pick for three years. So LeBrun speculates:

I suspect that if the Leafs wanted to force the issue, and have Calgary NOT wait till closer to March 8th (trade deadline), I think a first-round pick would do. You could call it an overpay if you want, but at least you get your guy early. 

But at the same time, he understands why Toronto might not want to give up a first-rounder, as the team has gone that route in past years (under Kyle Dubas), and it hasn't paid off in the playoffs. 

"I think it's smart for the Flames to let the trade market build up," LeBrun concludes. "Tanev is the exact type of defenseman that playoff teams want to add. That's why Florida paid a first for Ben Chiarot two years ago... It's why Tampa paid a first for David Savard."

And so the Leafs must decide: pay them now, or pay them later. Will surrendering 6 goals to Columbus Thursday night push the issue? 

Photo: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports