Chris Tanev skating at practice today means the Stars dodged a sniper bullet

Stars fans could hear a pin drop in their houses when Chris Tanev went down with an injury. It even looked like the Stars wouldn't have a deep playoff run. Tanev surprised fans on Tuesday morning being the first one at practice. It's a good sign for Dallas.

Mar 30, 2024; Seattle, Washington, USA; Dallas Stars defenseman Chris Tanev (3) passes the puck
Mar 30, 2024; Seattle, Washington, USA; Dallas Stars defenseman Chris Tanev (3) passes the puck / Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

It felt like a headshot by a sniper in Call of Duty WarZone when Chris Tanev went down against the Seattle Kraken last Saturday night. It even felt like the Stars season came to an end as well. Tanev has played a major role in holding the Stars' defense together. Without him in the lineup, the defense is mediocre at best. Tanev surprised fans by being the first to take the ice at practice this morning. Let's look at the trade that brought him here and if he could miss some games before the playoffs.

Chris Tanev Surprise: The trade that brought him here

I remember calling the trade when the Stars were being bombarded by the Colorado Avalanche back at the end of February. Little did I know the trade would go down the next night. I was enjoying the Texas Legends game when my phone started to blow up with messages. When I saw Tanev's name in the notification, I hoped Jim Nill didn't fold and hand a top prospect over to them. When the official trade was announced, Nill earned a second GM of the Year award, according to hockey writers.

Chris Tanev Surprise: How has Tanev improved the defense

Tanev has improved the penalty kill since being traded to Dallas. His ability to crash the boards and take the puck away has turned the Stars' penalty kill into an elite force. He's also blocked some shots when both teams are at even strength. The Stars made the right move trading for him before the trade deadline. If the Stars didn't trade for him at the deadline, the defense would be mediocre and wouldn't have the Stars in first place in the Central Division.

Chris Tanev Surprise: Could he miss some games before the playoffs

Tanev could miss some games near the end of the season. The Stars don't have a very tough remaining schedule. Pete DeBoer could rest him just like he did Tyler Seguin when he came back from his injury. Don't be surprised if Tanev is in the lineup against the Oilers tomorrow night. The Stars will need him to shut down Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. However, the Stars could rest him on Saturday afternoon against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Chris Tanev Surprise: Conclusion

Tanev has the Stars in first place in the Central Division and at a possible President's Trophy this season. The Stars wouldn't be in this situation if they didn't make that trade after getting blown out by the Avalanche. Nill has an elite team that could break the franchise records for the longest win streak tomorrow night. Nill deserves all the credit for pulling off a trade only he could come up with, and hopefully, Tanev will re-sign with the Stars this offseason.