New Dallas Stars Player Profile: Chris Tanev

Photo via Calgary Flames on X

Chris Tanev is the newest Dallas Star. Here’s my player profile of the Canadian right-handed defenseman.

Family Tree
Chris Tanev, 34, was born in East York, Toronto, Ontario, to Mike “Misho” Tanev and Sophie Meredith on December 20, 1989. Chris Tanev’s two brothers are Brandon Tanev, who plays left wing for the Seattle Kraken, and Kyle Tanev, who most recently played for the OJHL’s Trenton Golden Hawks. The Tanev family is of Macedonian descent, with the Tanev brothers’ grandparents hailing from Macedonia.

Career Beginnings
Chris Tanev was unselected in the 2010 NHL Draft. Tanev, however, signed with the Vancouver Canucks as a free agent on May 31, 2010. As a result, Tanev forwent his final three years of college hockey eligibility. Tanev’s lone season at the Rochester Institute of Technology came with the Atlantic Hockey’s Rookie of the Year, along with All-Tournament and Third All-Team Team honors, while leading the Tigers to a conference championship.

Vancouver Canucks (2012-2020)
Chris Tanev played for the Canucks from 2012 to 2020. Previously, Tanev began the 2010-11 NHL season with the Canucks’ AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, where he scored his first professional goal against the Rochester American on November 13, 2010.

Tanev received his first NHL call-up on January 16, 2011, and made his NHL debut against the Colorado Avalanche two days later, becoming the first RIT alum to play in the NHL. Tanev’s first NHL goal was scored on February 4, 2013, against the Edmonton Oilers. He signed a five-year, $22.25 million contract extension with the Canucks on March 24, 2015. His arguable best postseason moment as a Vancouver Canuck was when he scored just 11 seconds into overtime to beat the Minnesota Wild 5-4 to win the Qualifying Round 3-1 and advance to the Western Conference Final in 2020. His overtime goal is tied for the second-fastest to start overtime in Stanley Cup playoff history, tying J. P. Parise (1975) and Alex Burrows (2011), with only Brian Skrudland’s nine seconds in 1986 being faster.

Calgary Flames (2020-2024)
After ten seasons in Vancouver, Chris Tanev left the Canucks and became an unrestricted free agent. Tanev signed a four-year, $18 million contract with a fellow Western Canadian team, the Calgary Flames, on October 9, 2020.

Tanev had his productive game as a Calgary Flame on February 2, 2022. Not only that, Tanev picked up the points on all four of the Flames’ goals in a 4-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes.

Tanev, also known as the Shot Block Warrior, sacrificed his body to make game-changing blocks, including a noteworthy block to his face to keep the score tied 1-1 against the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2023-24 NHL season. Tanev left the game, but the Flames proceeded to win 2-1 in overtime.

Dallas Stars (2024-present)
Chris Tanev was a highly sought-after right-handed defenseman among hockey fans, including Dallas Stars fans. Tanev’s strong shot-blocking ability and high character contributes to the fact he’s a well-rounded hockey player.

Tanev, who is in the final year of a four-year, $18 million contract, could become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2023-24 NHL season.

The Flames traded Tanev to the Stars in a three-team trade involving the New Jersey Devils on February 28, 2024. As a result, Calgary acquired Artem Grushnikov and Dallas’ second-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft and conditional third-round pick in the 2026 NHL Draft (but there’s a catch as the Flames won’t receive the latter unless the Stars advance to the Stanley Cup Final), New Jersey received Dallas’ fourth-round pick in the 2026 NHL Draft, and Dallas received Cole Brady.

Man With a Plan
Chris Tanev may not be a man with a plan 24/7, but at least most of the time.

When it comes to gift-giving over the holidays, Tanev isn’t always on top of his holiday gift shopping list. But he got his gifting game plan ready in 2019 for his then-fiancée Kendra (now wife) and their pug, Riley, by getting a few things and then eating “pretty much anything.”

Perhaps Tanev’s delayed gift-shopping could stem from a Christmas prank his parents pulled on him when he was a kid. Tanev told NHLPA, “They [birthday and Christmas gifts] were always separated when I was growing up. One Christmas, my parents played a little prank on me. I wanted a PlayStation 2 really badly. I guess they were sold out everywhere  and I think, for a while, they actually couldn’t get me one. Eventually, they did find one, but they went along with that they didn’t get me one. When I opened my Christmas gifts — I was eight or nine — I was devastated that I didn’t get a PlayStation 2. I don’t know what I was doing  probably pouting for a while  and they came downstairs with the actual gift. That’s one Christmas I’ll always remember.”

Final Thoughts
The Stars are a solid team with goaltending and talent. There are young players with breakout seasons, veteran players with productive seasons, and middle-aged players with talent and depth outbursts.

The Stars’ defense has been lacking. Fortunately, Dallas managed to get Chris Tanev at a 75% discount without forfeiting a No. 1 draft pick. Tanev’s on-ice presence and Logan Stankoven’s up-and-coming emergence can help the Stars address its top issue.

Ana Kieu

Ana Kieu is a journalist by trade. Her love for sports shows in her writing, editing, and podcasting work. She writes about the NHL for Inside The Rink.

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