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Good Article On Tanev!

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I think most of us know how good Tanev really is, but this article reveals some interesting stats that I didn't know about so I thought some of you might be interested.

I said in the summer, Tanev needs to be signed now for long term and I hope Benning realizes how valuable he really is to this team. In addition, the author fails to acknowledge MG for this amazing signing, so just a little reminder for those of you who like to ridicule MG for what he's accomplished during his tenure here and how he has helped secure our future.

Is Chris Tanev the Leagues Most Underrated Defenseman? (The Hockey Writers)

December 9, 2014 | by Will Brown· Filed under: Player Profiles, Vancouver Canucks


Chris Tanev has had one of those storybook paths to the NHL. Fighting adversity since his teenage days in his hometown of East York, ON. When he was 16, the defenseman was cut by no less than seven midget teams in the Greater Toronto Area, and Tanev was forced to take up roller hockey as his sole outlet to the sport. He was ignored by all 30 NHL teams in the Entry Draft, and, after an impressive freshman year at the Rochester Institute of Technology, was signed as a free agent by the Vancouver Canucks. From there, he developed quickly into one of the Canucks most reliable defensemen.

Tanevs rise to the NHL is certainly remarkable, but whats more remarkable is how quietly he has gone about doing it. Those who closely follow the Canucks know how good a player Tanev is, but the rest of the league, especially fans in the Eastern markets who have fewer opportunities to see Western teams, are relatively oblivious to Tanevs ascendance into a core player on his team.

Tanev is as quite on the ice as he is off it, and thats exactly how everyone in Vancouver likes it. Known for his shyness to the media, Tanev does not exude the same enigmatic persona as Montreals PK Subban or Chicagos Patrick Kane, and his play demonstrates the same disdain for the spotlight. Fortunately for him, Tanevs play thrives when he is not a noticeable presence on the ice. In fact, it is not uncommon not to notice Tanev throughout an entire game. But that just means he is doing his job well. Tanevs good plays are rarely noticeable, so his mistakes are the only time he makes highlight packages. Luckily, he is the closest thing the Canucks have to a mistake-free player, and his rise to prominence in Vancouver has made many consider him one of the most underrated players in the NHL.

Tanevs Numbers

TSN asked analytics expert Travis Yost to outline the ten best NHL players according to their fancystats, hockeys new-age way of analyzing players effectiveness. Tanev was one of Yosts poster boys for analytics, ranking 8th on his top ten list. He had this to say about him:

With Tanev on the ice over those 2000-minutes, Vancouver earned 52% territorial control and nearly 58% of the goals. And, the decent scoring rate further suggests hes positively involved in the run of play. Now, look at his comparables based on the parameters established. Its a group of first-pairing defenders and/or first-pairing defenders who have won a Norris Trophy.

Tanevs comparables in this situation include Subban, Ryan McDonagh, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Victor Hedman. Not a bad group of players.

And yet Tanevs name never gets mentioned in the same breath of any of these names. His quiet but assuring presence on Vancouvers blueline is so subtle it alludes most casual viewers, but, if analyzed closely with the help of advanced stats, you can see that Tanev has become the Canucks best defenseman.

Tanevs statistics, courtesy of war-on-ice.com

This graph, courtesy of war-on-ice.com, measures Vancouvers defense by their Relative Corsi% within the context of their Offensive Zone Start % and quality of competition. Despite a low OFF ZS% and high Competition%, Tanev leads the Canucks blueline in Corsi%. This indicates that Tanev (along with his defensive partner, Alex Edler) is among the Canucks most efficient puck-movers, consistently gaining possession and exiting the defensive zone, starting an offensive rush. This characteristic is important for teams in a 5v5 setting, but is often overlooked because it lacks flashiness and excitement. Tanevs game is built around finesse, calmness and responsibility, and his seemingly effortless ability to direct the puck out of the defensive zone is not instantly noticed in a one-time viewing. But it is still a crucial function, and one that Willie Desjardins and the coaching staff values.

General Manager Jim Benning renewed Tanevs contract over the summer, but chose not to sign him on a long-term contract, opting instead for a one-year deal. Benning did not know much about Tanev before coming to Vancouver, so he was hesitant to offer lots of money to an unproven player. It is now December, and so far this season, Tanev has proved he is a solid top-four defenseman for the Canucks. His deal expires this summer, and certainly this time Benning will look to lock the teams best blueliner down long-term.

The Canucks need Tanev in Vancouver.


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Due for a 4-6 year deal with anywhere between $3.5-4.25 mill imo. Most reliable dman we have. Only downside is he doesn't have an offensive presence that makes him a 2way force. Will effect the amount of money he can get (not as much as if he could be a 35+ point getter).

Most underrated dman? I'd say so.

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I'd sign him for no less than 4 years with a longer term and pay raise after said 4 years after the twins are off the books and the cap has increased. The kid has the same kind of on ice intelligence as Lidstrom (nowhere near the same skill) and will anchor a team if he stays healthy in a top 4 situation.

Benning's always enjoyed his D core and I've no doubt he'll sign tanev to a solid deal.

Great read

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"Tanev is as quite on the ice as he is off it"

The author is quiet a good speller.

Seriously, though, Tanev better be locked up for many years to come. I really hope he can start putting up some points as well, but even if he doesn't we will be very lucky to have him. Great hockey IQ.

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I wouldn't be surprised if, given the opportunity to use his smarts and passing skills, he can reach 25-30 points a season. He's got a good wrist-shot and accurate slap-shot, and if he was given more opportunities to set up Eddie for one-timers I think he can reach that mark. Paired with solid play-driving up the ice and safe (if unspectacular) defense and he can be a strong player.

It's great that we have someone who, despite being low-key, is getting the job done well.

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I'm one of those guys who said that Tanev was over-rated by the CDC members this past summer. After hearing Bieksa speak about Tanev being the most under-rated player in the league, I thought I better pay attention...so, having watched Tanev closely this season, I am glad to say that I was wrong about him and am now of the opinion that he's a legit top-4 dman on any NHL roster, and am doubly glad that Tanev is a Canuck.

I had always thought that Tanev: was very good in our zone, especially with the first pass; was smart with his quick pivots allowing him to pinch opposing forwards away from the net in spite of his slight frame; owned a smart stick; was fearless with his shot blocking; and had a decent set of wheels. But after nearly 30 games, I have to say that he's excellent in these parts of the game. I also like that he showed up to camp at 194 lbs., up 10 lbs. from the previous season. Hopefully he can get himself to 200-205 in the next 12 months without giving up any speed.

I still think Tanev has some weaknesses to his game (i.e., though his shot has improved, it's far from NHL calibre; he still bobbles the puck on the offensive blue line) and I'll question his durability until he plays out the final quarter of the season, but if I were JB, I'd get him signed to a four year, $16M extension ASAP (AAV: $4.0M).

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If he had more offense in his game he could be a front-runner for the Norris. Almost every game I am amazed at how well he plays. Having good/great players isn't new but to have a guy that makes as little mistakes as Tanev simple is remarkable.

Has been one of my favourites since I first saw him play in the playoffs 10-11 (didn't really notice him in the reg season that year, which as the article states isn't exactly a bad thing)

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