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Calgary Flames trade defenceman Chris Tanev to Dallas Stars for prospect, draft picks

CALGARY — The Calgary Flames traded defenceman Chris Tanev to the Dallas Stars for prospect Artem Grushnikov, a 2024 second-round draft pick and a conditional 2026 third-round pick.

The deal announced Wednesday happened with some financial lubricant from the New Jersey Devils.

Calgary retained 50 per cent of Tanev's salary, while New Jersey agreed to cover half of his remaining salary this season.

Tanev, 34, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

To obtain the Stars' fourth-round pick in 2026, the Devils agreed to kick in money for Tanev's contract and also traded to Dallas via Calgary the rights to unsigned drafted goalie Cole Brady currently playing for the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

The Flames have provided buzz ahead of the March 8 trade deadline because of the team's prominent impending free agents and the club's position hovering just below the Western Conference's wild-card cutline.

Flames defenceman Noah Hanifin will also become a UFA this summer. Goaltender Jacob Markstrom's name has also been bandied about despite the two years remaining on the Swede's contract that pays him an average of US$6 million annually.

Calgary dealt top centre Elias Lindholm to the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 1 for Andrei Kuzmenko, a first-round draft pick in 2024, a conditional fourth-round pick, and a pair of defensive prospects.

Grushnikov, who is six foot two and 192 pounds, has a goal and four assists in 44 games this season for the AHL's Texas Stars.

The Russian defenceman spent two seasons with the Ontario Hockey League's Hamilton Bulldogs amassing 13 goals and 16 assists, and helped the team win an OHL championship in 2022.

The Stars drafted the left-handed shot in the second round, 48th overall, in 2021.

“Artem is a player our organization has identified, for some time now, as being a strong addition to our prospects pool,” Flames general manager Craig Conroy said Wednesday in a statement.

“As a 20-year-old he is having a solid season in the American Hockey League. He is best described as a young defensive defenceman, a good penalty killer who understands the importance of this role and plays to his identity. We have also been able to secure another second-round draft pick in 2024, and the potential for a third-round selection in 2026.”

Tanev has a reputation as a smart, leathery defender who shrugs off dings, dents and bloody facial injuries to keep playing. He's in the final year of a four-year contract with an average annual value of US$4.5 million.

Tanev, who was one of Calgary's alternate captains, ranked second in the league in blocked shots (171).

“We are fortunate to have the opportunity to add a player of Chris' calibre to our team,” Stars general manager Jim Nill said in a statement on the team's website.

"He is a proven defenceman with post-season experience that is comfortable in all situations on the ice. Chris is one of the best penalty killers in the NHL and will be a tremendous asset to our special teams play.”

Tanev had 10 goals and 57 assists in 259 regular-season games for Calgary since he signed as a free agent in 2020. He also suited up for eight playoff games in 2022.

The right-handed shot from Toronto spent 10 seasons with the Canucks before he became a Flame.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2024.

The Canadian Press