General manager George McPhee has heard the chatter.
“Well, it wasn’t cheap,” McPhee said during a Prime Time Sports appearance on Thursday afternoon.
Vegas sent a first-round pick in 2018, a second-rounder in 2019 and a third-round pick in 2021 to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for the 27-year-old Tatar.
“It’s the one area where we’re deep — we have a lot of picks,” McPhee told hosts Bob McCown and Brad Fay on Sportsnet 590 The FAN. “We spread it over four years. There are times when the decisions you make are all data driven and there are times when it’s market driven. That was the price. We either get the player we thought we needed to have and give up those assets or you don’t.
“And I wanted to help the club.”
The expansion franchise has been the NHL’s biggest surprise this season, currently sitting first place in the Pacific Division.
The acquisition of Tatar was particularly interesting given that the seven-year veteran has seen his production dip this season. His best totals came in 2014-15, when he scored 29 goals and 56 points. The Slovak scored 28 points in 62 games with Detroit this season and, since the trade, has registered one goal in four games.
However, he is under team control through 2020-21, a key factor for McPhee.
“It was important to us that it wasn’t a rental,” said the GM. “It was someone we’re going to have for a while. I don’t think anything is inexpensive at the trade deadline.”
Listen to the full interview in the video player above.