Breaking News: Leafs Paid $12 Extra Million & Longer Term in ‘Worst’ Free Agent Deal

The sixth-largest offseason deal was signed by Chris Tanev, a former defenseman for the Dallas Stars, by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Maple Leafs outbid the Stars by a total of $12 million and defeated every other team vying for the blueliner, according to Toronto Star source Nick Kypreos.
“Give [Maple Leafs General Manager Brad] Treliving credit (..) After missing out on many opportunities to acquire Tanev during the trade deadline, he ultimately secured him a six-year, $27 million contract, according to Kypreos. “Tanev found a way to close the deal, even though many other teams were willing to give him a higher salary with a shorter term.”
Kypreos disclosed later in his piece that Tanev was only extended an offer by the Stars for $15 million over three years, or an average of $5 million each year. Although the Leafs’ offer fell short of that AAV, which is estimated to be worth $4.5 million year, Tanev was unable to turn down the sum of money.

However, Tanev’s deal with Toronto was listed as one of the “Honorable Mentions” for the “worst contracts” inked in 2024 by Daily Faceoff’s Scott Maxwell.

“It’s not a bad addition, but the contract feels like a lose because it’s so over market value,” Maxwell wrote. “It is crazy to sign a 34-year-old to a six-year contract, but in a vacuum, Chris Tanev is the ideal addition for the Leafs to help their defensive issues.”Signing someone to a long-term contract with the hopes that he doesn’t play the entire term out isn’t actually the stupid decision that many Leafs supporters seem to believe it is. Sure, it can be LTIRed if he gets hurt later on.
Chris Tanev’s Enrollment Tagged as “Risky”
A few hours before the Dallas Stars’ trade for Tanev’s negotiation rights opened up free agency, Toronto signed him to a massive six-year, $27 million contract that extends through his age-40 season.

Tanev, who is already 34 years old, has injury worries associated with his name and background. According to NHL expert Chris Johnston, this makes Tanev a “risky” addition.
“The contract is hazardous and lengthy. But on July 4, Johnston claimed on The Chris Johnston Show, “this was exactly the kind of player the Leafs needed and exactly the one who was available.” “I like it short-term for the Leafs for sure, assuming health, which you can’t always assume health for a 34-year-old who has had a series of injuries.”

Despite his advanced age, Treliving, the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, was thrilled to have signed his former blueliner.
“He’s simply a superb defensive back.” We often discuss how offensive players should see plays early. According to Mike Zeisberger of, Treliving stated, “He does the same thing, but on the defensive side of the puck.” “A total fighter. He is a cultural ambassador for your space.

“Pay attention, I am aware of his age. However, I believe that he has already demonstrated in the past year that he is among the League’s best defensive players and shutdown defensemen. He’s also a real shooter. He is the epitome of what a great teammate should be.It’s thrilling. An amazing player. Fantastic individual. If we can pull it all together, he will play a significant role in our organization.
Did the Maple Leafs give Chris Tanev too much time?

Since joining the league in the 2010–11 season as an undrafted free agent, Tanev has made 792 appearances throughout the regular season. In all those games, Tanev totaled 190 points, which he broke down into 33 goals and 157 assists.

Though many analysts have expressed reservations about Tanev’s age and the six-year contract he signed with the Leafs, the production is apparent.
On July 5, The Hockey Writers’ Ruper McDonald referred to Tanev’s signing as “the most exciting addition” to the Maple Leafs. But “the terms of his contract are concerning,” he said.
Analyzing the Maple Leafs’ contract offer to Tanev on July 1, Dom Luszczyszyn of The Athletic held a similar view.
The Leafs fans should be overjoyed at $4.5 million. Until now, that is,” wrote Luszczyszyn. “Any free agent would find six years to be a lengthy time. For a shutdown defenseman who will shortly turn 35 years old, six years is a very long time.

“This contract is a disaster waiting to happen because Father Time can strike at any time.”

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