‘We felt at this point, at this time, this was the right deal for us’: Craig Conroy on what made the Chris Tanev deal happen

Photo credit:Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Middleton
1 month ago
Well, one of the trades everyone has been waiting for finally went down. Chris Tanev is headed to the Dallas Stars at 75% retained salary (the New Jersey Devils are retaining 25%), and the Calgary Flames, in return, are receiving Artem Grushnikov, a 2024 second-round pick, and a 2026 conditional third-round pick.
Tanev has been a major piece to the Flames this season, blocking shots left and right, and continuing his dominance on the defensive side of the ice that fans, coaches, and players have all grown accustomed to seeing. He will absolutely be missed, but this was the inevitable outcome.
After the trade went down, Flames general manager Craig Conroy talked to Flames TV’s Brendan Parker and spoke about the trade, how it went down, and, more specifically, the kind of player he believes the team got in return.
“I think you talk to all the teams, figure out where the interest is, and then you’re always looking to make the best deal you can for the team, and we felt at this point, at this time, this was the right deal for us,” Conroy said. “To be able to get a young player at 20 years old, a second-round pick, and a conditional third if they go to the finals, that just made sense to us.”
For anyone who still may be unfamiliar with Grushnikov, he’s a 6-foot-1, 194-pound, left-shot defenceman who was drafted in the second round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft by the Stars. The Flames, according to Conroy, had lots of members of the management and scouting staffs watching his games live and watching film to make sure that he was going to be a good fit next to the other defencemen in the system.
“I think we had pro staff, amateur, and development staff, we all were in there watching him on video, and even our staff upstairs,” Conroy said. “He knows what he is as a player. He’s kind of a defensive defenceman. He kills penalties, he’s strong on pucks, and he’s simple and direct with his puck plays. You’re going to look at the numbers, the numbers won’t be there, but that’s not what he does well. What he does well is on the d-side of the puck, and when you have guys like Jeremie Poirier and Hunter [Brzustewicz], more offensive guys, he’s a good mix with those kind of players.”
Not only is Grushnikov a player that the Flames believe has a high ceiling, but his character speaks to the kind of player he can become. He loves investing in himself and in his career, but he also loves investing in other people.
“He’s all about family, and just the highest character kid you can find is what I’m hearing,” Conroy said. “I’m looking forward to him. I just spoke to him one time, but it’s exciting when everybody you talk to, there’s nothing negative, it’s always positive. I know it wasn’t easy for Jim Nill to let him go. He sent me a nice note after and he agrees that this is a very, very good young player.”
Some may have been underwhelmed with the package that the Flames received in return for arguably the best defensive defenceman of the 2010s and (so far) the 2020s. However, after waiting to find the right deal, it’s apparent that Conroy and his staff were more than content with the package they received.
There are only eight days until the trade deadline hits, and every day that it inched closer, the more of a reality this trade became, and it sounds as if Conroy believes Grushnikov can make a big impact in the American Hockey League with the Calgary Wranglers but also with the Flames in the NHL down the line.
Get ready for the Daily Faceoff Live Trade Deadline Show, coming to you on March 8th LIVE from 11 AM to 3 PM EST!! Join Tyler Yaremchuk, Frank Seravalli and friends for 4 hours of non-stop action as they dive deep into the heart of the trade deadline. They will be breaking down every trade, discussing the impact on teams, predicting the playoff picture, and giving you the inside scoop on all the wheeling and dealing happening around the league. Tune in live on March 8th from 11 AM to 3 PM EST for the The Daily Faceoff Live Trade Deadline special you won’t want to miss!

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