It was hard to believe that among a group of veteran defenseman, the most consistent at times would be the young, up-and-coming Chris Tanev.
A smart, puck-moving – but perhaps undersized at 6’2″ and just 185 pounds – blue liner with the Vancouver Canucks, the 23-year-old Tanev was slated to become a restricted free agent.
The Canucks extended him a qualifying offer on Tuesday, as per Jim Jamieson of The Province. His previous contract – a three-year entry level deal worth $2.7 million and a cap hit of just $900,000 was set to expire.
Never drafted, Tanev proved his rising value again last season, scoring the first two goals of his National Hockey League career. In three seasons with Vancouver, he’s played 92 regular season games.
Last season, he stayed with the Canucks roster on a full-time basis for the first time in his career.
During the negotiation process with the Canucks, Tanev originally was representing himself, with his father, Mike, lending a helping hand.
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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