Everyone, friends, fans, enemies, I bring you Darren Dreger:

You're meant to have your aneurysm before you get to the last sentence. Of course, the Leafs can't sign him to eight years. They would have had to have got him last deadline for that which Dreger realized. But seven years, totally possible.

Here's what I think: I think the Leafs will sign him to longer term than you want – this is a given, you think everyone should get two years at most – and longer than they want in order to get the total value of the contract over the amount Dallas was offering.

What that is will be revealed in time. For now, who is Chris Tanev? I talked about him here:

Finding Defence
Just UFAs today. But be warned: I don’t like the guys you like.

And this is how I began:

Which is the real Chris Tanev: the good at defence, but offensive black hole player from Calgary or the top pairing guy he was with Dallas? It's always so hard to tell with players that leave a team after years of emotional upheaval to go to a new place where all they care about is short-term winning.

Tanev is 34, and everyone is sure he's about to turn into a pumpkin because pessimism rules in Leafs-land.

Plot object

I can't find it.

He shoots right, and if he was five years younger, he'd be the first on my list ahead of Roy. But hell, why not if the price is affordable? Note that he's been playing top pairing minutes for all three years. Well, actually since the last lockout.
He doesn't need value adds, but I think his intangibles are pretty obvious. He is tough, works harder than anyone else, knows everything there is to know about playing defence, and he probably actually wants to play for the Leafs.
His age means he won't cost $9 million, but he will occasionally play like he's worth that. For how much longer will he do that? That's the tough question, isn't it.

That is the question. But the Leafs could afford to trade for his rights, get this locked up before Monday and then add the rest of who they need. They could not afford to trade for Mikhail Sergachev or even John Marino. They haven't got the assets. So it's making the best of a hot UFA market for defenders.

At some point they may have to buy out this deal, or move him as a cap dump. He might end up on LTIR, a common thing to happen to older players. Or not. He might be a great 40-year-old player in six years.

When we have contract details we'll post them. Until then, all we can do is worry!

I'll tell you this: he's better than almost every defender the Leafs have had for years.