July 15th, 2024

Maple Leafs sign defenceman Tanev to six-year, US$27-million contract


By Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press on July 1, 2024.

TORONTO – Chris Tanev is set to play in his hometown.

The veteran defenceman and the Toronto Maple Leafs agreed to a six-year, US$27-million contract Monday about 90 minutes before the opening of NHL free agency.

The 34-year-old blueliner, whose deal is worth $4.5 million per season, had two goals and 19 points in 75 games in 2023-24 with the Calgary Flames and Dallas Stars, but his value comes at the other end of the rink in a shutdown role.

The rights to Tanev were acquired by the Leafs from the Stars on Saturday for a minor-league forward on an expiring contract and a 2026 seventh-round pick.

The undrafted Toronto native has 33 goals and 190 points in 792 regular-season games with the Vancouver Canucks, Flames and Stars. He’s added 13 points (one goals, 12 assists) in 60 playoff contests.

The Leafs also got to work on their crease combination, extending goaltender Joseph Woll on a three-year, $10.98-million deal that begins in 2025-26.

Woll, who has dealt with a series of injuries throughout his career, went 12-11-1 last season with a .907 save percentage and a 2.94 goals-against average.

He was outstanding in winning Game 5 and Game 6 of Toronto’s first-round playoff series after the Leafs fell behind the Boston Bruins to force Game 7 this spring.

But the 26-year-old hurt his back in the final seconds of Game 6 and was forced to miss the series clincher. Ilya Samsonov started the final, which Toronto lost 2-1 in overtime.

Woll, who was selected 62nd overall at the 2016 draft, owns a record of 21-13-1 with one shutout, a .912 save percentage and a 2.76 GAA in 36 career regular-season games.

He’s also 3-2 in the playoffs in seven appearances, sporting a .933 save percentage and a 1.78 GAA.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 1, 2024.

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