One of Vancouver’s longest-serving players could be on his way out of town.
Kevin Bieksa, who’s appeared in nearly 600 games for the Canucks over the last 10 years, has reportedly been asked to waive his no-trade clause, per TSN.
While there is no trade pending, the Canucks have apparently asked Bieksa to waive should the right deal come along.
UPDATE: TSN has since amended its original report, saying that the Canucks have only spoken to Bieksa about moving on. More, from Sportsnet and TSN 1040 radio…
To clarify. Canucks have not asked Bieksa to waive his NTC, but there is plenty of interest in the Canucks’ Dman.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) June 25, 2015
Kevin Bieksa’s agent tells me that the #Canucks have not asked him to waive his no-trade clause. Wouldn’t comment when asked if Bieksa would
— Matthew Sekeres (@mattsekeres) June 25, 2015
The 34-year-old rearguard is heading into the last of a five-year, $23 million deal with a $4.6M annual cap hit. In his prime, Bieksa was a key piece of Vancouver defense, cracking the 40-point plateau three times while developing a reputation as someone that played with an edge. He’s also known for his leadership qualities, having served as an alternate in Vancouver, and as a Canada’s captain at the 2015 Worlds.
That said, Bieksa has seen better days.
Last season was a struggle; a broken hand limited him to just 14 points in 60 games and his lack of foot speed and mobility were exposed in Vancouver’s opening-round playoff loss to Calgary.
Teams looking for an experienced, veteran presence on the back end will likely inquire about Bieksa’s services: Columbus, Boston and the New York Islanders could all be options, assuming Bieksa would waive his NTC to go.