Chris Tanev is still in protracted contract talks with the Vancouver Canucks.
Photograph by: Rich Lam, Getty Images
VANCOUVER - The agent for defenceman Chris Tanev hasn’t heard from the Vancouver Canucks in a couple of weeks, but he has been fielding calls from KHL clubs.
No formal offers have been made, but Ross Gurney said Monday that there is interest in Tanev in the KHL.
Gurney stressed, however, that Tanev very much wants to remain a Canuck.
“We are waiting to hear from them,” Gurney said of the Canucks. “We did have some momentum for a period of time a couple of weeks back, but we haven’t heard back from them since our last conversation. The only variable that has changed is that for whatever reason there seems to be an uptick in the amount of interest from the KHL.
“It’s interesting how many people are monitoring it (the negotiations). But Chris’s full intentions are to sign with Vancouver and we felt we had some momentum so that is a bit discouraging. Vancouver controls the timeline.”
Canucks assistant general manager Laurence Gilman said Monday that the team remains confident a deal will be reached with Tanev.
“We have not had discussions for a couple of weeks,” Gilman said. “Chris is a valued member of our organization. There is still a reasonable amount of time before our season and our training camp begins and we are optimistic that we will get something done.”
Two KHL teams have expressed interest in Tanev.
“The amount of money being discussed is substantial,” said Gurney, who added that Tanev is intrigued by the overseas interest. Gurney has also fielded calls from the Swiss Elite League.
“Yeah, everyone loves to be wanted,” he said. “I don’t think he grew up dreaming to play in the KHL. Chris grew up dreaming about playing in the NHL and is coming up to some very important years in his career. That said, we are in a position of listening and I think it gives him confidence there are a number of people monitoring the process...should things not go the way Chris wanted, they are kind of staking their claim.”
Tanev, a 23-year-old restricted free agent without arbitration rights, is looking for a substantial raise on the $900,000 he made last season with the Canucks. He is pencilled in as the No. 5 defenceman on the Vancouver depth chart.
Gurney said Tanev is open to a short- or long-term contract with the Canucks.
“Chris is open to anything and that is what makes the process relatively easy on our part,” he said. “If it’s one year, I think Chris is prepared to play it like that. If it’s multi-year, obviously there is then the benefit of security.”
In 92 NHL games, Tanev has earned a reputation as a reliable defender who is adept at moving the puck out of his own end. He and the Canucks think he has some offensive upside. Tanev has two goals and 10 points in his 92 NHL games.
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