According to Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun, defenseman Kevin Bieksa expects to be traded by the Canucks.
“I’m not an idiot,” Bieksa said on TSN’s Off the Record program. “I can put two and two together. Anything could happen right now.”
Both newly acquired defensemen, Dan Hamhuis and Keith Ballard, make more than Bieksa as the Canucks seem to be going in a different direction. In his five seasons with Vancouver, the 29-year-old came close to playing a full season only once– back in 2006-2007.
In addition, he only led the Canuck blue line twice in scoring for his sizeable paycheck.
Still his unique combination of rugged defenseman and scoring presence on the blue line kept the team enticed until Christian Ehrhoff essentially took over his role this past season. When Bieksa returned from a lengthy stay on IR, he had no real purpose and played like a shell of his former self.
At his age, the words washed up can hardly apply. Bieksa simply needs to stay healthy and play a full to season to be an at least adequate #3 d-man.
Yesterday’s signing of Shane O’Brien seems to be the final writing on the wall for the longtime Canuck. According to Cap Geek, the Canucks have signed nine NHL defensemen with Bieksa the third highest paid.
His 3.75 million cap hit seems reasonable for the skills he can provide and the Canucks should find a taker… or need to ship him away for nothing, Ehrhoff style.