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The big difference between David Savard and Chris Tanev
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
Last night, the Dallas Stars acquired Chris Tanev from the Calgary Flames,

In fact, officially, the Stars acquired the defenseman from the New Jersey Devils. The Eastern club agreed to withhold 25% of the defenseman’s salary to help the Stars and Flames complete the transaction.

Here’s the complete transaction.

As much as the Flames got what’s considered a good return for Elias Lindholm a few weeks ago (although I don’t think it’s as impressive as people think due to Andrei Kuzmenko’s negative value, but hey), the return for Tanev is… um….


In addition to withholding salary (the defenseman earns $4.5 M per year and is a rental player), the Flames were unable to obtain a first-round pick. The club got a second-round pick. A second-round END pick, I should say.

Add to that a third-round pick in 2026 only if Dallas makes it to the Cup Final in 2024, and a defenseman who is incapable of putting up points (both in Canadian junior and in the AHL), and we have a return that isn’t huge.

(Credit: Hockey DB)

I don’t know about you, but I’m not exactly impressed with what the Flames got.

Am I saying that the club did the wrong thing by trading him? That’s not necessarily what I’m saying. After all, he’s at the end of his contract and I don’t know how good his deal was. Nor do we know whether Brad Treliving (Maple Leafs) had a chance to try dancing with his former club.

But still: it’s a slim deal nonetheless.

And the fact remains that if the comparisons involving Elias Lindholm and Sean Monahan apply to Chris Tanev and David Savard, the Habs GM had better be on his guard regarding his defenseman’s deal.

That said, you have to be very careful when talking about Savard. After all, there’s a huge difference between the Flames’ case with Tanev and the Habs’ case with Savard. Which is?

The Habs don’t want to trade David Savard, who doesn’t want to be traded by the Habs.

Because Savard wants to stay, because he’s adored and because he’s still under contract at $3.5 million a year for another 16 months, the Habs are under no obligation to trade him right now. And it certainly doesn’t have to do so at the price the Flames paid.

That wouldn’t be enough for Hughes. It really wouldn’t.

In fact, consider this. If, on the evening of March 8, Savard is still a member of the Montreal Canadiens, no one in town will say that the Habs missed their chance and that it’s bad manpower management.

But in Calgary, that would have been the speech if Tanev had stayed.

In reality, even if Savard can be traded by March 8, it’s logical to think he’ll stay. Unless, of course, a club makes Kent Hughes an irresistible offer. Like Joe Sakic did for Artturi Lehkonen two years ago.

We’d like to see that happen to Jake Allen, but don’t hold your breath.

Ultimately, even if there is congestion on the blue line for the future, I’m sure the Habs would have no problem keeping the defenseman for the start of next season, so useful and beloved is he. Even if the phone rings.

And I don’t want to go too far into the future either, since many things can change, but if Kent Hughes were to discuss a contract extension with his defenseman, I’m sure he’d listen.

After all, he wants to stay and he wanted to bring his family back to Quebec by signing in Montreal.

I don’t know how realistic that is, given all the defensemen who’ll be popping up in the next few years, but let’s just say that right now, nobody’s complaining about the Quebecer’s outfit, are they?

In gusts

– The circus is in town.

– Justin Poirier, a target for the Habs? [JdeM]

– Everyone has to help.

– It won’t be easy.

– Great Shohei Ohtani.

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