Details from Brad Treliving’s tenure as general manager of the Calgary Flames have come to light recently.
November 17th’s edition of 32 Thoughts: The Podcast featured an interview with Flames Defenceman Chris Tanev where Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman dug into the concept of Chris and Brandon Tanev playing for the same organization.
Friedman: “Have you and Brandon ever talked about playing together?”
Chris Tanev: “We have a little bit cause a couple of years ago it was, I guess it almost came. It almost happened. One of the GMs called me and was like “Hey, we might trade for your brother.”
Friedman: “Was this in Calgary or Vancouver?”
Chris Tanev: “It was in Calgary and he was like “Do you care if you guys play together?” I was like “No, I mean we’ll probably get into some yelling matches. I would get mad at him actually on the bench, but it would definitely be a cool experience to play together, but that’s sorta like the most we’ve talked about it anyways.”
There is a three-year window, 2020-2023, where this could have happened. Chris signed as an unrestricted free agent during the 2020 offseason and Treliving moved on during the 2023 offseason.
The younger Tanev, Brandon, (31) has been an eccentric asset since signing a six-year, $21,000,000 deal with Jim Rutherford’s Pittsburgh Penguins during the 2019 offseason. A career-high 16 goals and 19 assists in 82 games in 2022-2023 finally brought the Toronto native into an area of justifying his cap hit on points alone. With only 62 games played in the previous two seasons, Brandon’s cap hit, term, and injury history may have scared off potential acquisitions. The Providence College product has one more season after this one at a matching cap hit and real dollar payout of $3,500,000.
What is less apparent are the intangibles Brandon Tanev brings to the ice. Among Kraken players suiting up for 20 games or more since their inception, per naturalstattrick, Brandon leads the way in penalties drawn per 60 minutes at 5.88. He trails only Jeremy Lauzon in hits thrown per 60 with 10.7.
The fact of the matter is that intangibles are, by nature, troublesome to track or keep a record of. AI may push the definition of “intangible” to its absolute limits, but as it stands we don’t have stats like Hits Taken to Make Plays or Solo Bursts of Speed When the Rest of the Team is Being Statistically Dominated. One day we might have the SBSWRTBSD stat in a column next to Crossovers per 60 Minutes, but today is not that day.
It’s through the good old Eye Test that the two Tanev brothers earn much of their contract values. Chris, 33, has no issue holding on to the puck until the right pass presents itself. Nor does his brother. Per naturalstattrick, Chris leads all Flames in Hits Taken since joining the team in 2020-2021 with 451. The next closest is Dillon Dube with 357 and then Rasmus Andersson with 269.
We also don’t yet have the context of Hits Taken nailed down as a statistic, but comparing this data in it’s rawest form to what other team members put up with the same record keeping staff each night helps paint the picture a bit more accurately.
Point being that each of the brothers provide more dollar value than their offensive production and defensive statistics entirely imply. Both have been perennial fan favourites within every NHL fanbase they’ve represented.
Playoff expectations still linger for both the Seattle Kraken and Calgary Flames. Compounding on that is Brandon Tanev’s difficult term and cap hit. An acquisition this season appears a tough sell.
But like any other time these two have been brought in by a new team, the complaints stop after they dawn the sweater.