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Canucks’ asking price for Chris Tanev is reportedly ‘very high’

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After dealing veterans Alex Burrows and Jannik Hansen at the deadline, and finally declaring a rebuild in Vancouver, the Canucks still have another valuable trade chip they can utilize, with the expansion and entry drafts quickly approaching.

That would be defenseman Chris Tanev.

His future with the team is a hot topic of discussion in that market, especially as the Canucks look to get younger, stockpile prospects and gather additional draft picks for the future.

The 27-year-old Tanev is entering the third year of a five-year, $22.25 million contract that also has a modified no-trade clause about to kick in on July 1.

Those teams seeking a defenseman capable of impressive bottom-line offensive numbers aren’t likely to get that from Tanev. He’s never registered more than 20 points in a single season. But a reliable shutdown presence in his own end — lauded for his shot suppression abilities — is a reputation he’s garnered for a few years now and that may be an attractive quality for teams looking to shore up that aspect of their game.

Tanev also isn’t getting any younger, and he’s never played a full regular season schedule. Injuries have played a part, particularly this past season when he was held to just 53 games. There may not be many more opportunities after this for the Canucks to get the maximum return on this specific player in a trade.

From Elliotte Friedman on Sportsnet during Saturday’s Game 3:

“The one thing I’ve heard is other GMs who say they’ve reached out to Vancouver have been told that this is no guarantee. And if Chris Tanev is going anywhere, the price is going to be very high for him. He’s got three more years under contract. He’s a good player at a good price. I don’t think Vancouver is looking to do this unless it’s a great deal.”

There has been trade speculation involving both Tanev and fellow Vancouver blue liner Alex Edler for quite some time now. Edler is now 31 years old and has two years left on his deal, at an annual cap hit of $5 million. He’s a pending unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019, but he also has a no-trade clause in his current contract.

There is also an argument to be made for the Canucks not trading Tanev. His absence would, in the club’s immediate future, leave quite a hole on the right side of their blue line, and Vancouver is already coming off back-to-back terrible seasons in the standings with few bright spots.

“It’s hard to find good defencemen, especially defencemen who are mobile and move the puck,” Canucks GM Jim Benning recently told Postmedia. “Unless it would make sense for our future, I’m not trading Chris. He means so much to our team.”

Video: A Predators fan celebrated Game 3 lead by – you guessed it – throwing a catfish

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The celebration is on in Nashville.

The Predators jumped out to a three-goal lead on a goal from Craig Smith, his first of the playoffs, early in the third period.

He beat Matt Murray with a confident shot to the glove side. Nashville is looking to get its first win of the Stanley Cup Final, down 2-0 in the series entering Game 3 on Saturday.

That’s reason to celebrate for Predators fans. So, of course, a catfish was tossed on the ice at Bridgestone Arena. Yes, another one, after someone tossed a fish following the national anthem.

It’s tradition.

Video: Predators rally to take the lead with two goals in 42 seconds

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been able to score in bunches, with a sudden quick-strike offense against the flow of play through two games in this Stanley Cup Final.

The Nashville Predators took a page from that playbook with two goals in 42 seconds early in the second period to take a 2-1 lead on home ice. There is a historical significance, too, as the first Stanley Cup Final goal scored by the home team in Nashville.

More importantly, it gave the Predators a lead in a game they fell behind in early and need to win to avoid a 3-0 series deficit to the defending Stanley Cup champions.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that it was a Nashville defenseman playing a central role in starting the rally. Roman Josi got it started for the Predators with a power play goal on a slap shot that just changed direction to beat Matt Murray. Frederick Gaudreau continued it seconds later with his second goal of the playoffs.

While getting the lead was critical for the Predators, their goalie Pekka Rinne — he’s had his struggles through two games of this series — made a pair of important saves in the same sequence to maintain it.

He first made a pad stop on Phil Kessel, and then stretched to his right to make an incredible rebound stop on Chris Kunitz.

Video: Country music stars shine as Stanley Cup Final takes over Nashville

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The Stanley Cup Final has gone country.

Famed country music star Alan Jackson, clad in a Nashville Predators T-shirt, set the stage by headlining the Broadway Smash: Preds Party with a Purpose concert prior to Game 3 on Saturday.

Predators fans lined Lower Broadway to watch the show before their team faced the Penguins, marking the first-ever Stanley Cup Final game at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

Martina McBride was the latest country star to perform the Star-Spangled Banner just prior to puck drop.

Video: Jake Guentzel inches closer to playoff history with opening goal in Game 3

Jake Guentzel has done it again.

The 22-year-old forward opened the scoring at the 2:46 mark of the first period in Game 3, beating Pekka Rinne through the legs after finding a loose puck in front of the Nashville net to conclude a great shift in the offensive zone for the Penguins.

That’s Guentzel’s 13th goal in his 22nd game in these playoffs. Quite a showing this postseason for the former third-round pick, after he had 16 goals in 40 regular season games.

He continues to inch closer to playoff history for an NHL rookie.

He is now one goal shy of tying Dino Ciccarelli’s record for goals scored by a rookie in a single postseason. He’s also two points shy of breaking Ciccarelli’s record for most points (21) in a playoff.