Kevin Bieksa on a Canucks trade? 'I can put two and two together'
Vancouver Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa, speaking publicly for the first time since July 1, conceded Tuesday he knows he’s a candidate to be traded away.
“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.”
Bieksa was responding to a question from host Michael Landsberg about the Canucks’ glut of blueliners. GM Mike Gillis has nine defencemen signed to one-way contracts and Bieksa is the third highest paid — at $3.75 million — after newcomers Dan Hamhuis and Keith Ballard.
The additions of Hamhuis and Ballard also appear to push Bieksa down the depth chart to the No. 6 spot with Christian Ehrhoff, Sami Salo and Alex Edler ahead of him as well. Shane O’Brien, Aaron Rome and Andrew Alberts are the others currently on the roster.
The Canucks won’t carry nine into the season and perhaps not even eight depending on salary cap considerations. The Canucks are already over the $59.4 million cap but are allowed to exceed it by 10 per cent until Oct. 8, the day prior to their regular-season opener.
“We have a lot of depth on defence now and it will be fun to see how it unfolds,” Bieksa told Landsberg.
Asked specifically what he thought of the Hamhuis signing, Bieksa replied: “Happy. Happy for the team. Like I said, a lot of depth. Just gotta fill in a few holes on the forwards now.”
Told the TSN panel figured he would be involved in trade talks after the Canucks’ July 1 moves, Bieksa quipped: “Yeah, well, you guys have been drawing blanks for three years now with the rumours so we’ll see if you’re right this time.”