Stars get Chris Tanev from Flames as part of 3-team trade

Chris Tanev scores to tie Flames with Stars (0:45)

Chris Tanev's first goal of the season evens the Flames with the Stars at 1-1. (0:45)

The Dallas Stars addressed what was arguably their biggest need Wednesday when they acquired defenseman Chris Tanev as part of a three-team trade with the Calgary Flames and the New Jersey Devils.

In total, the Stars received Tanev and the rights to University of Massachusetts prospect goaltender Cole Brady. The Flames, who will retain 50% of Tanev's salary, received prospect defenseman Artem Grushnikov from the Stars along with their 2024 second-round pick and a 2026 conditional third-round pick.

The Devils received the Stars' 2026 fourth-round pick for serving as a third-party broker that retained 50% of Tanev's salary.

The conditions of the 2026 third-round pick are that the Flames will receive that draft pick if the Stars advance to this year's Stanley Cup Final. If the Stars do not reach the Cup Final, then no additional pick is transferred from Dallas to Calgary, according to the Stars.

Dallas was among the teams believed to have interest in Tanev, who will be a pending unrestricted free agent, ahead of the NHL trade deadline on March 8. The Stars had gone with a top defensive pairing that featured Thomas Harley and Miro Heiskanen with Heiskanen, a left-handed shot, playing on his off side.

Getting Tanev, who is a right-handed shot, now means the Stars can return Heiskanen to his natural side. Furthermore, a Heiskanen-Tanev partnership potentially gives the Stars an even more formidable top pairing that will be tasked with consistently facing and shutting down opponents' top lines.

It's a partnership that could also play a role in the Stars' bid to reach the Stanley Cup Final after having lost in six games last season to the eventual champion Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference finals. Entering Wednesday, the Stars (35-17-9) were tied on points with the Central Division-leading Winnipeg Jets but had played four more games. The Stars were also four points behind the Vancouver Canucks for the most points in the NHL.

Moving on from Tanev comes as the Flames have been at something of a crossroads. They entered the season needing to answer questions about their roster given that they had several players, such as Tanev, who were pending unrestricted free agents. That group also included center Elias Lindholm along with defensemen Noah Hanifin and Nikita Zadorov.

Zadorov was traded to the Canucks in December. In late January, the Flames traded Lindholm to the Canucks during the All-Star break.

Now they have traded Tanev, and the expectation is that they could move on from Hanifin while still trying to remain in the contention for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. The Flames (29-25-2) came into Wednesday five points behind the Nashville Predators for the last wild-card spot having won four straight games and eight of their past 11 contests.