Many expected defenseman Chris Tanev to be traded for a few weeks now. With the NHL Trade Deadline approaching, it felt like it was now or never. Turns out it was now, as the Calgary Flames have traded the veteran rearguard to the Dallas Stars. It's a three-team trade involving the New Jersey Devils.

Action around the NHL should certainly kick into gear between now and March 8. This deal is one of many that could happen between now and the NHL Trade Deadline. However, let's focus on this trade here now that it's official. Here are the grades for the Chris Tanev trade between the Stars, Flames, and Devils.

Full trade

The Dallas Stars have acquired defenseman Chris Tanev from the Calgary Flames. Furthermore, they have acquired the rights to goaltender Cole Brady from the New Jersey Devils. Calgary has acquired defenseman Adam Grushnikov, a 2024 second-round pick, and a conditional 2026 third-round pick from Dallas. Finally, the Devils acquired a 2026 fourth-round pick.

Both the Flames and Devils are retaining 50% of Tanev's contract. If the Stars make the 2024 Stanley Cup Final, Calgary will receive the 2026 third-round pick. If Dallas falls short of the Stanley Cup Final, then no additional pick changes hands.

Devils play broker

The Devils's role in the Chris Tanev trade is rather straightforward. New Jersey eats more of the 34-year-old's cap hit to make this trade work. Now, Dallas is only on the hook for $1.125 million of his salary for the remainder of the 2023-24 NHL season. Overall, there isn't much to say about their role here.

New Jersey did part with goaltender Cole Brady in this deal. The 23-year-old is playing at UMass this season, as he did last year. Brady has played nine games in 2023-24, posting an .886 save percentage. However, he has posted a save percentage north of .900 in each of his last three collegiate seasons.

New Jersey does okay here. They pick up an extra pick in 2026 in exchange for using a bit of their cap space. Brady has shown some promise in college, but the Devils aren't hurt by his loss. Overall, there isn't much to say about this part of the trade.

Calgary Flames defenseman Chris Tanev (8) against the Los Angeles Kings during the first period at Scotiabank Saddledome.
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Flames trade Chris Tanev

It was expected that Tanev would be traded at some point. A lot of rumors indicated the team sought a first-round pick in exchange for the veteran rearguard. However, that didn't end up coming to fruition. That doesn't mean this trade is a bad deal for the Flames, though.

Calgary receives a second-round pick in this deal. Now, they have seven selections in the first four rounds of the 2024 NHL Draft. You certainly can't be upset with that in the slightest. General manager Craig Conroy has a few options moving forward. If he wants to try and add to his roster, perhaps one of these assets comes into play.

Calgary also received defenseman Artem Grushnikov in this deal. The 20-year-old blueliner entered the league as a second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft. He is playing his first full season in professional hockey this year. Grushnikov has one goal and five points in 44 games. He is a defensive-first defenseman, though, so his game is more than offensive production.

Calgary didn't receive the first-round pick they reportedly wanted. However, they did receive a good enough haul. Grushnikov has some potential and time to develop. And adding a second-round pick for a player you would have lost for nothing is good business. Things could have gone worse here.

Stars trade for Chris Tanev

Dallas is the team most will talk about coming out of the Chris Tanev trade. The Stars are looking like a true Stanley Cup contender this season. And adding Tanev to their blueline addresses a major need for them. Dallas has needed defensive help on their top-four, and the 34-year-old Tanev can still log top-four minutes.

Tanev's arrival comes at the perfect time, as well. Jani Hakanpaa and Nils Lundkvist have dealt with injuries as of late. Adding Tanev to their blueline allows them to better weather the storm. The 34-year-old is a reliable shutdown defenseman who will provide a major boost to the team's Stanley Cup ambition.

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Cole Brady represents added goaltending depth in the prospect pipeline. The Stars already have a long-term starter, with Jake Oettinger holding the job between the pipes for the foreseeable future. That said, you can never have too much goaltending depth in the system.

The Stars needed a major addition on the back end, and they got it. Chris Tanev gives Dallas much-needed defensive reinforcement on the top four. Dallas is looking for a Stanley Cup after getting so close last year. With this deal, the Stars are certainly positioned to go on a deep run this spring.

Grades and final thoughts

The Stars receive the highest grade in this deal. Dallas received the best player, and they didn't have to give up a first-round pick in the process. Calgary receives a slightly lower grade. Despite receiving a respectable haul, they fell short of their reported ask. Finally, New Jersey receives an above-average grade for adding to their draft capital.

Dallas Stars grade: A-

Calgary Flames grade: B+

New Jersey Devils grade: B-