The Vancouver Canucks beat out the Toronto Maple Leafs in their pursuit of defenseman Nikita Zadorov. The Canucks officially struck a deal with the Calgary Flames to acquire the 28-year-old on Thursday. In the aftermath of the deal, the Leafs are still reportedly on the lookout for more blue line help, according to Kevin Weekes of ESPN.
He posted: “I’m told the Maple Leafs were trying to acquire both D Zadorov and Taney from the Flames. With the Canucks deal now complete, the Leafs will continue shopping for Blueline help.”
The Maple Leafs were certainly looking to hit the jackpot by acquiring both Zadorov and Taney from Calgary. However, Vancouver won the bidding for the 28-year-old, who previously requested a trade from the Flames. To acquire Zadorov, Vancouver sent a 2024 fifth-round pick and 2026 third-round pick to Calgary.
With Zadorov no longer available, the Leafs could still acquire Flames defenseman and alternate captain Chris Tanev, who is still reportedly on Toronto's radar. Tanev, however, could become an unrestricted free agent next summer, which means he could be a rental.
Nonetheless, Chris Tanev is a Toronto native hailing from East York and could be motivated to stick around his hometown team.
The veteran defenseman has tallied 11 points on the season with five assists and five goals, and has a plus-minus of five. Tanev recently suffered an injury earlier this week when the puck struck him in the face. Fortunately, 12 stitches were all it took to repair the damage and he was able to avoid any major injury.