It appears that Kevin Bieksa’s days as a Vancouver Canuck may be numbered.
Rumours started to fly mid-afternoon Thursday that Kevin Bieksa may be on the move. It all began with this tweet from TSN’s Farhan Lalji:
Here's the Farhan Lalji tweet that has since been deleted pic.twitter.com/9hfvXwOSos
— Rob The Hockey Guy (@RobTheHockeyGuy) June 25, 2015
Lalji quickly amended the original tweet:
To clarify, #canucks have spoken to Bieksa about moving on. He's agreed to waive if the right trade comes. A trade hasn't been finalized.
— Farhan Lalji (@FarhanLaljiTSN) June 25, 2015
Either way, it looks like the Canucks want to move Bieksa and are looking for the right fit.
This will come as no surprise to anyone who follows the Canucks on a regular basis. Bieksa has been a stalwart on the Canucks’ defence for a decade, but his game has deteriorated. He was relegated to the third pairing in the 2014-15 campaign and, at times, appeared a step behind in the Canucks first round playoff loss to the Calgary Flames.
The Canucks are in need of offloading some salary and Bieksa is the logical choice with Frank Corrado and Adam Clendening, both right-hand shot defencemen like Bieksa, waiting in the wings.
Bieksa carries a $4.6 million salary cap hit, but is only due $2.5M in the final year of his contract. Bieksa becomes an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the 2015-16 season.
While moving Bieksa may not surprise anyone, his possible destination may.
Hearing tonight that one of the teams interested in acquiring Kevin Bieksa is San Jose.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 26, 2015
Apparently the San Jose Sharks are making a strong push to land the veteran defenceman. Jim Benning has stated repeatedly that he is looking to add draft picks in the 2nd and 3rd rounds in a very deep draft that begins today. The Sharks hold the 39th pick overall, a high 2nd round pick that Benning covets.
Bieksa will waive NTC, accept trade to Sharks. SJ owns ninth-overall pick today. Will Benning package Bieksa/prospect or pick for No.9?
— Ben Kuzma (@benkuzma) June 26, 2015