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Bieksa May Waive NTC if Contract is Extended First

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Really too bad. The dude gives it his all. Even though he cannot perform anymore at the level he has, he would be a perfect #5-#6 D-man for the next 2-3 years for the Canucks.

I was hoping the Canucks would run this upcoming year out and re-sign him at a good 5-6D price.

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Meaning no 2nd rounder incoming and we'll dump Bieksa for some castoff prospect who's 'further along' later on. Don't worry though. We will be told that prospect will be hella good.

Sigh... This process will continue for awhile longer I suppose.

I'm surprised that Bieksa wouldn't just elect for free agency instead, but then again if he's going to where I think he's going, then he must really like it there for some reason and wants to stay awhile.

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It is unbelieveable that a 10 word sentence, uttered by some sports media type that nobody really likes, can get some people in a fluster. It is rumour at best. I call guys like Strickland and the rest of his ilk, Twitter Twits. They hyper-drive their crap to keep themselves in a job. Ninety-nine % of what you read on twitter is a glorified rumour at best and to make it worse, people compete and rush to be the first one to make a thread of it on CDC. i can't figure that out. To make something out of unsubstattiated BS and be the first one to do it??

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Capped-out Vancouver Canucks likely to salary dump Kevin Bieksa. Should Edmonton Oilers be interested?:

The aging Canucks grouch isn’t optimal for Oilers, but better bet than Nikitin
This in from Kevin Jamieson of the Vancouver Province: “The Canucks are in a world of cap trouble…A cap for next season of, let’s say, $70 million, leaves the Canucks with about $3 million to sign three defencemen and three forwards to get to the usual 23-player roster size.

“So who goes to give the Canucks some cap breathing room? The obvious choice is veteran defenceman Kevin Bieksa, who turns 34 this month and has one more season with a cap hit of $4.6 million on his contract. Bieksa, who would have to be OK with waiving his no-trade clause, oozes leadership, so he’d be attractive to a young team that feels it needs to add a mentor.”

My take
Bieksa is a player I’ve always loved to hate and one I wished was an Edmonton Oiler. He’s been a nasty d-man with a good deal of puck sense for years now. His downside is he’s 34, an age when NHL d-men often see a major drop in their play. He’s three years off his peak, with 2011-12 being the last time he was a 1D (top d-man on top pairing) for the Canucks.

Bieksa got 4D minutes last year, 20:50 per game, down from the 22 to 24 minutes per game he averaged in his prime.

In his career, he’s averaged 0.4 points per game. Last year he was at just 0.23 per game, just 14 points in 60 games.

His even strength point scoring has been at the same moderate level for the past few seasons. Bieksa is no longer a valued power player on the Canucks, so that explains some of the drop in his overall point totals.

The Canucks were pretty much even in high danger scoring chances for and against when Bieksa was on the ice, reports War-on-Ice. He was part of an average NHL unit on an OK team. According to HockeyAnalysis.com, his most common linemates were, in order, Luca Sbisa, Ryan Stanton, then a group of nine forwards, including Nick Bonino, Henrik and Daniel Sedin, with all nine playing with him 200 to 260 minutes.

Bieksa shoots right, and the Oilers have a spot on their roster for a right-shooting d-man.

If Edmonton has faith that Darnell Nurse, Oscar Klefbom and Justin Schultz will develop into the team’s 1D, 2D and 3D sooner rather than later, then Bieksa is the kind of player who could help guide them along for a few years. Perhaps if the Oilers buy-out Nikita Nikitin, Bieksa could slot in for him.

If Edmonton is determined to hit a home run and bring in a 1D right now, such as by making a determined and costly bid for a player like Dougie Hamilton, then Bieksa is the wrong fit.

But if Edmonton instead decides to buy out Nikitin, then Bieksa could be part of a somewhat unorthodox defensive unit which would lack a true top-pairing, but might see Nurse with Bieksa, Klefbom with Schultz, and Andrew Ference with Mark Fayne, and Brandon Davidson, starting out as the seventh d-man. The Oilers would use Ference and Fayne for tough defensive zone starts against tough competition until Nurse was ready for that kind of heavier lifting, perhaps in 2015-16, perhaps not until 2016-17.

How would this defensive group perform? Much would depend on whether or not Ference and Fayne could survive in such a situation. If they can’t, Nurse and Bieksa might be thrown into that bon fire.

When you add it all up, Bieksa doesn’t seem like an optimal target for the Oilers, who have no shortage of candidates for the 2D to 7D slots, but are in great need of a real 1D.

That said, Bieksa would likely be an upgrade over Nikitin, and Bieksa’s cost-in-trade should be entirely reasonable, as this would be a cap move for the Canucks.

Whether Bieksa would agree to come here and whether the Canucks would agree to move him to a divisional rival is another question.


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Pretty vague terrible speculation as well.

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