Tanev's debut with Dallas Stars likely won't be until next week. He's working through visa process

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DALLAS (AP) — Chris Tanev was right at the top of the list of players the Dallas Stars hoped to add before the trade deadline. They now just have to wait a few more days to get the veteran defenseman in their uniform.

Tanev's debut with the Stars will likely have to wait until they are on the road next week. The 34-year-old Canadian, acquired from Calgary in a three-team deal, had to work through the process of obtaining a U.S. visa before he could join the Stanley Cup contender.

“I think he may join us on the road Monday,” Stars general manager Jim Nill said Thursday, when the Stars played Winnipeg a day after completing the trade. “Hopeful Saturday, but more probably join us on the road. But we'll see how that goes.”

Dallas is home Saturday against the Sharks, then heads to San Jose to play them again Tuesday night. That is the first of three games the Stars play in California next week, and comes three days before the NHL's trade deadline.

“It’s been a long process. I think anyone who follows hockey has seen my name around (in trade speculation) for quite some time,” Tanev said on a Zoom call with Stars reporters. “I'm super excited to get to Dallas, whenever that may be. ... Sort of relieved that everything is finally done.”

Dallas sent a 2024 second-round pick, 20-year-old defense prospect Artem Grushnikov and a 2026 conditional third-rounder to Calgary for Tanev, who was considered one of the top trade candidates available. The Flames are retaining half and New Jersey another quarter of Tanev’s $4.5 million salary as part of the deal, which also includes the Stars flipping a ’26 fourth-round pick to the Devils for unsigned goaltending prospect Cole Brady.

After spending his entire NHL career in Canada, with Vancouver for his first 10 seasons (2010-20) and the Flames since, Tanev will join a Stars blue line headlined by Miro Heiskanen. Dallas also has veteran Ryan Suter and defensive stalwarts Esa Lindell and Jani Hakanpaa. Tanev is in the final season of an $18 million, four-year contract.

Tanev played in the Stanley Cup Final in his first season, when Vancouver lost in seven games to Boston. He was part of the Flames team that beat Dallas in a seven-game series in the first round of the playoffs two years ago.

“Help the team win ... that’s my ultimate goal, and that’s why I ended up being traded,” Tanev said.

“He’s got better puck skills and skating than people give him credit for. He can skate and move the puck under pressure,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said. “He’s also a big, physical, hard guy to play against. So that gives you lots of options.”

When Tanev gets in a Dallas uniform, it will be with him wearing No. 3 and not No. 8, as he has worn since 2011, since that number is retired by the Stars franchise for Bill Goldsworthy.

Asked how he decided on No. 3, Tanev chuckled when offering his reason. It is about how the numeral looks — and not bad math.

"Three is half of an eight, pretty much,” he said.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl