Insider "Firmly Believes" That Chris Tanev Is Heading to the Maple Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brad Treliving admitted this week that defense is his first priority this offseason, and from all accounts, the player he's got at the very top of his list is one of his former charges from his Calgary days, Chris Tanev. "I think that Tanev is the guy he likes the most," said insider Elliotte Friedman on Thursday. 

And former Maple Leaf and now TSN insider Carlo Colaiacovo insists that the Leafs will get their man: "I firmly believe that Chris Tanev will be a Toronto Maple Leaf on July 1st."

"He's a Toronto guy, and all the talk (at the trade deadline) was that he wanted to be in Toronto," said Colaiacovo. It obviously didn't work out, as the Leafs couldn't match the offer made by the Dallas Stars. But now as an unrestricted free agent, both parties get another crack at it. 

Tanev is a right-shot D, something the Leafs desperately need, and the perfect complement to Morgan Rielly on the top pairing. Tanev's shot-blocking abilities are legendary—almost to the point of a fault as he does get banged up quite a bit. He managed to play 75 games this past season, however, at the age of 34.

Now the question is, how much term are the Leafs willing to give a player who throws his body at any puck that moves, going into his age-35 season? "If you go five years," says Colaiacovo, "it's probably going to be somewhere between $4M-$5M (AAV); if it's less (term), you're looking at somewhere between $5M-$6M."

"But he's the guy that's gonna play the way (new head coach) Craig Berube wants you to play... He's the guy you've been looking for," emphasized Colaiacovo.

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