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Bieksa to Columbus? Got to Love Offseason Rumours

When you have eight NHL defencemen under contract and are still set to re-sign Shane O’Brien, rumours are bound to follow. When you’re the #6 d-man on the depth chart and making $3.75 million, chances are you’ll be the guy talked about in those rumours. I’m speaking of course of Kevin Bieksa, who was rumoured to be on the trade block by yours truly after the Keith Ballard trade and is now being rumoured all over the place. Despite the fact that Mike Gillis isn’t confirming that Bieksa is being shopped, you have to believe he is.

But where could he be headed? What could be coming back in return? Well, the Columbus Dispatch has done their best to shine a light on it. The Columbus newspaper is reporting that Nikita Filatov could be headed to Vancouver in return for Bieksa. Bieksa would give the Blue Jackets an offensive defenceman that they desperately need. The Canucks would shed cap space and add Filatov, a young skilled Russian forward set to be a $2.196 million cap hit this season. Filatov was picked 6th overall in the 2008 draft (four spots ahead of Cody Hodgson) and played in the KHL last season. He’d be a bit risky to take on, given the fact he could bolt to Russia if he is unhappy about his playing time or life in North America. There’s also the question as to whether or not Filatov would be good enough to play on the team’s top two lines this year or if he has the grit to play on their third line.

Regardless, if this is an offer that’s sitting on the table I think Mike Gillis absolutely has to take it. The upside of Filatov is huge, and snapping him up could pay off huge. Imagine Filatov, Hodgson and Schroeder all developing at the same time and making entry level money. If they were to all pan out (that’s a big ‘if’ I know), the Canucks would be sitting pretty.

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20 Response to Bieksa to Columbus? Got to Love Offseason Rumours

  1. ds on July 4, 2010

    I'm not sold on the idea of trading Bieksa. Of course, it does matter what is offered in return and what cap space needs to be cleared up but, other than that, I think we would benefit more from keeping him, especially if Mitchell is not re-signed. n nIn fact, I have two lines of thought on this matter: n nFirst, it does seem like the fans have turned on the guy and, unfortunately, due to a serious lack of hockey intelligence on the part of the average fan, there is no such thing as reputation restoration in the hockey world. Your reputation can always get worse, but seldom to never gets better. In this case, it may be better for all involved if he is traded (aside from the fact the team finances suggest this may be a necessity). n nSecond, and this is the line of thought I lean toward, is the realization that a player with Bieksa's skill set is a rather unique and valuable commodity in the league. I think his skills are not being harnessed in Vancouver and this is because a myriad factors extending beyond the obvious and visible level of play scenario. To explain, when a player is playing below the level his skills would otherwise indicate he is capable of then there must be reasons for it. I think Bieksa's confidence has been tortured in Vancouver since his initial breakout season. I wouldn't expect those kind of numbers from him… I think he needs to be asked to take a leadership role on the team and focus on nothing more than defense and intimidation. Everything else (swift and accurate puck movement, PPP, etc.) is just gravy. n nMake him the captain and show him that we are committed to him… he has been the subject of countless trade rumours since his first season here… how would that affect any player? If you see talent in someone… cultivate it. We have ruined him like so many/all of the goalies to ever suit up in a Canucks uniform. I think making him the captain will help to inspire his play and prove mutually beneficial. n nTrading him now would be a mistake. He is 29, I think… about to peak. And, we would get nothing in return given our bargaining position.

    Reply
  2. ds on July 4, 2010

    I’m not sold on the idea of trading Bieksa. Of course, it does matter what is offered in return and what cap space needs to be cleared up but, other than that, I think we would benefit more from keeping him, especially if Mitchell is not re-signed.

    In fact, I have two lines of thought on this matter:

    First, it does seem like the fans have turned on the guy and, unfortunately, due to a serious lack of hockey intelligence on the part of the average fan, there is no such thing as reputation restoration in the hockey world. Your reputation can always get worse, but seldom to never gets better. In this case, it may be better for all involved if he is traded (aside from the fact the team finances suggest this may be a necessity).

    Second, and this is the line of thought I lean toward, is the realization that a player with Bieksa’s skill set is a rather unique and valuable commodity in the league. I think his skills are not being harnessed in Vancouver and this is because a myriad factors extending beyond the obvious and visible level of play scenario. To explain, when a player is playing below the level his skills would otherwise indicate he is capable of then there must be reasons for it. I think Bieksa’s confidence has been tortured in Vancouver since his initial breakout season. I wouldn’t expect those kind of numbers from him… I think he needs to be asked to take a leadership role on the team and focus on nothing more than defense and intimidation. Everything else (swift and accurate puck movement, PPP, etc.) is just gravy.

    Make him the captain and show him that we are committed to him… he has been the subject of countless trade rumours since his first season here… how would that affect any player? If you see talent in someone… cultivate it. We have ruined him like so many/all of the goalies to ever suit up in a Canucks uniform. I think making him the captain will help to inspire his play and prove mutually beneficial.

    Trading him now would be a mistake. He is 29, I think… about to peak. And, we would get nothing in return given our bargaining position.

    Reply
  3. Tonyz Tanti on July 6, 2010

    Wow… Team captain? Obviously I disagree. DS, where do you rank Bieksa on the Canucks defense depth chart right now? I don't see how anyone in their right mind could say he's better than Edler, Hamhuis, Ehrhoff and Salo (when healthy). Ballard most of us haven't seen, but from what I know, he's better than Bieksa also. To me, he's their 6th defenceman, inconsistent, terrible defensively and not good enough offensively to take the good with the bad. He kind of reminds me of Jovanovski, except for the fact that Jovo made mistakes on pure emotion, taking risks, etc. Bieksa makes mistakes out of carelessness. He's a nice player to have on your team, but not at $3.75/season, and not in your top 4.

    Reply
  4. Tonyz Tanti on July 6, 2010

    Wow… Team captain? Obviously I disagree. DS, where do you rank Bieksa on the Canucks defense depth chart right now? I don’t see how anyone in their right mind could say he’s better than Edler, Hamhuis, Ehrhoff and Salo (when healthy). Ballard most of us haven’t seen, but from what I know, he’s better than Bieksa also. To me, he’s their 6th defenceman, inconsistent, terrible defensively and not good enough offensively to take the good with the bad. He kind of reminds me of Jovanovski, except for the fact that Jovo made mistakes on pure emotion, taking risks, etc. Bieksa makes mistakes out of carelessness. He’s a nice player to have on your team, but not at $3.75/season, and not in your top 4.

    Reply
  5. ds on July 6, 2010

    Tonyz, n nI don't see the point to your question. Is there some reason why a team captain has to be the best player on a team? Or the best defensemen? I don't see how someone's placement on the depth chart would affect that decision as long as he is a starter and plays regular minutes. n nYou and I clearly disagree about the level of talent thet Bieksa brings to the table and I think that really was my point. He has more to offer but doesn't seem to be completely emotionally (and physically) invested. I think his fundamentals (his unteachables) are great. The problem may stem from the fact he has been consistently shat on in this city since his first season. Thus, he needs to get out of dodge, in which case another team will benefit. Or, I think the ONLY way the Canucks benefit from keeping him (read: get the best out of him) would be to silence the criticism and support the guy finally. Show him his true value. Give him a role that he CAN live up to… in fact, if you want to talk straight intelligence, he is brighter than most in that dressing room. I don't who would have a higher IQ on the team… not that that means anything, but, "I'm just saying, that's all." n nGive him a different role and show him some kind of committment… n nOn another note, I reckon you do agree that the Lou/Captain experiment should end? If so, who would you recommend takes the reigns?

    Reply
  6. ds on July 6, 2010

    Tonyz,

    I don’t see the point to your question. Is there some reason why a team captain has to be the best player on a team? Or the best defensemen? I don’t see how someone’s placement on the depth chart would affect that decision as long as he is a starter and plays regular minutes.

    You and I clearly disagree about the level of talent thet Bieksa brings to the table and I think that really was my point. He has more to offer but doesn’t seem to be completely emotionally (and physically) invested. I think his fundamentals (his unteachables) are great. The problem may stem from the fact he has been consistently shat on in this city since his first season. Thus, he needs to get out of dodge, in which case another team will benefit. Or, I think the ONLY way the Canucks benefit from keeping him (read: get the best out of him) would be to silence the criticism and support the guy finally. Show him his true value. Give him a role that he CAN live up to… in fact, if you want to talk straight intelligence, he is brighter than most in that dressing room. I don’t who would have a higher IQ on the team… not that that means anything, but, “I’m just saying, that’s all.”

    Give him a different role and show him some kind of committment…

    On another note, I reckon you do agree that the Lou/Captain experiment should end? If so, who would you recommend takes the reigns?

    Reply
  7. Tonyz Tanti on July 6, 2010

    His position on the depth chart and salary matters not for the captaincy but for the salary cap. To me, he's the clear cut guy that needs to go for the Canucks to get them under the cap. nTo be a team captain, you need to earn it. You should not give someone the captaincy in the hopes that it changes their play. Bieksa was inconsistent, bad defensively and didn't seem to always care. He does add toughness and some offensive punch. But he's capable of more, no doubt. nI agree Luongo probably shouldn't be captain, too much of a distraction for a goalie to have the role. Who should replace him? I would go with Henrik or Kesler.

    Reply
  8. Tonyz Tanti on July 6, 2010

    His position on the depth chart and salary matters not for the captaincy but for the salary cap. To me, he’s the clear cut guy that needs to go for the Canucks to get them under the cap.
    To be a team captain, you need to earn it. You should not give someone the captaincy in the hopes that it changes their play. Bieksa was inconsistent, bad defensively and didn’t seem to always care. He does add toughness and some offensive punch. But he’s capable of more, no doubt.
    I agree Luongo probably shouldn’t be captain, too much of a distraction for a goalie to have the role. Who should replace him? I would go with Henrik or Kesler.

    Reply
  9. brett on July 6, 2010

    kesler, without a doubt should be the new captain, and they should have done it after last year's exit at the hands of the hawks. let the goalie worry about saving the puck, and pulling what was turning into a promising career, out of the playoff jinx category. the canucks need a captain that they can draw from, someone who can raise the team with a few words to their teammates on the bench, and obviously if lou is doing that, then he has already been pulled. the last guy we had ilke that was TL, and he was the greatest, no? n nas for bieksa, he has had a rough ride here, and as ds points out, we might never get full value in a trade for him. that being said, filitov has huge upside, probably bigger than bieksa's, and i am pretty sure he won't be jumping ship to russia if he is on a team far superior to the bluejackets. so we should make the move if it is an option. really, who in their right mind wants to play for ken hitchcock at this point? the man will never win a cup in the salary cap era. why he even drafted a creative player like filitov is beyond me, stifling SOB. filitov has said in interviews that he only left for the khl because his minutes were being limited, mainly because he held onto the puck for longer than 2 secs (another hitchcock brainstrom). he has gone on to say that he obviously wants to play in north america, as the nhl is the top league. i think that not taking filitov would be a mistake that fans here cry into their beers about for many years to come. n nkesler for captain & bieksa for filitov.

    Reply
  10. brett on July 6, 2010

    kesler, without a doubt should be the new captain, and they should have done it after last year’s exit at the hands of the hawks. let the goalie worry about saving the puck, and pulling what was turning into a promising career, out of the playoff jinx category. the canucks need a captain that they can draw from, someone who can raise the team with a few words to their teammates on the bench, and obviously if lou is doing that, then he has already been pulled. the last guy we had ilke that was TL, and he was the greatest, no?

    as for bieksa, he has had a rough ride here, and as ds points out, we might never get full value in a trade for him. that being said, filitov has huge upside, probably bigger than bieksa’s, and i am pretty sure he won’t be jumping ship to russia if he is on a team far superior to the bluejackets. so we should make the move if it is an option. really, who in their right mind wants to play for ken hitchcock at this point? the man will never win a cup in the salary cap era. why he even drafted a creative player like filitov is beyond me, stifling SOB. filitov has said in interviews that he only left for the khl because his minutes were being limited, mainly because he held onto the puck for longer than 2 secs (another hitchcock brainstrom). he has gone on to say that he obviously wants to play in north america, as the nhl is the top league. i think that not taking filitov would be a mistake that fans here cry into their beers about for many years to come.

    kesler for captain & bieksa for filitov.

    Reply
  11. ds on July 7, 2010

    TT: explain what you mean by, "to be a captain, you need to earn it." n nI think I made my point about Bieksa and, for the record, I realize he is not a realistic option however I still argue there is indeed value to changing someone's role on the team in order to influence his play. n nBrett, I am not sold on Kesler as a captain… I don't know why I feel that way… maybe I see him as too young or too much of a hot head… I see some arrogance in him and that worries me… I don't know, maybe he would make a good captain. Either Sedin… not sure. To be honest, this team has NO clear cut captain… no run away candidate… I have never seen anything life this before… you could write any 20 names down on a piece of paper and I could tell you who the captain is… in fact, that might be an interesting exercise. n nI thought Mitchell would have been an acceptable captain after Naslund left but apparently he is not coming back… Salo? Nah… We clearly do not have a captain… IF Lou is to give it up, it looks like it would be Hank/Dan or Kesler as a best option, agreed… but, do they have the right stuff? n nThis situation is exactly why some weak-minded coach came up with the rotating captaincy idea… not because there were too many captains, but rather, because there were none.

    Reply
  12. ds on July 7, 2010

    TT: explain what you mean by, “to be a captain, you need to earn it.”

    I think I made my point about Bieksa and, for the record, I realize he is not a realistic option however I still argue there is indeed value to changing someone’s role on the team in order to influence his play.

    Brett, I am not sold on Kesler as a captain… I don’t know why I feel that way… maybe I see him as too young or too much of a hot head… I see some arrogance in him and that worries me… I don’t know, maybe he would make a good captain. Either Sedin… not sure. To be honest, this team has NO clear cut captain… no run away candidate… I have never seen anything life this before… you could write any 20 names down on a piece of paper and I could tell you who the captain is… in fact, that might be an interesting exercise.

    I thought Mitchell would have been an acceptable captain after Naslund left but apparently he is not coming back… Salo? Nah… We clearly do not have a captain… IF Lou is to give it up, it looks like it would be Hank/Dan or Kesler as a best option, agreed… but, do they have the right stuff?

    This situation is exactly why some weak-minded coach came up with the rotating captaincy idea… not because there were too many captains, but rather, because there were none.

    Reply
  13. ds on July 7, 2010

    Twenty plus players from the same era. Who's the captain? n nMark Pederson nGarry Galley nBrad Jones nKeith Acton nTerry Carkner nBrian Benning nMurray Craven nSteve Kasper nTony Horacek nRon Hextall nYanick Dupre nReid Simpson nRod Dallman nMoe Mantha nPaul Reinhart nPetri Skriko nIgor Larionov nDoug Lidster nDan Quinn nRich Sutter nHarold Snepsts nRob Murphy nJay Mazur nJim Agnew nSteve Weeks

    Reply
  14. ds on July 7, 2010

    Twenty plus players from the same era. Who’s the captain?

    Mark Pederson
    Garry Galley
    Brad Jones
    Keith Acton
    Terry Carkner
    Brian Benning
    Murray Craven
    Steve Kasper
    Tony Horacek
    Ron Hextall
    Yanick Dupre
    Reid Simpson
    Rod Dallman
    Moe Mantha
    Paul Reinhart
    Petri Skriko
    Igor Larionov
    Doug Lidster
    Dan Quinn
    Rich Sutter
    Harold Snepsts
    Rob Murphy
    Jay Mazur
    Jim Agnew
    Steve Weeks

    Reply
  15. Tonyz Tanti on July 8, 2010

    Got to go with Steve Weeks

    Reply
  16. Tonyz Tanti on July 8, 2010

    Got to go with Steve Weeks

    Reply
  17. ds on July 8, 2010

    Over Hex? Come'on! If there was ever a goalie that was actually a Team Captain in any true sense of the term, it would be Hex… n nThe only way Lou should keep the 'C' next year is if he decides to play up the chach role a little more and sport a gold chain or two and chew on a tooth pick during his post-game interviews. n nSo MG and AV are going to meet with Lou soon to discuss the captaincy… I don't think he wants to give it up as that would be an admission of inadequacy (no true-blooded chach has ever come close to an admission of that level and severity). I read recently that Lou shaved his head… if that's true, and the greasy locks are indeed gone, it may signal a new Lou… a maturation from chach-hood to a more sophisticated, 'C'-less, puck-stopping machine.

    Reply
  18. ds on July 8, 2010

    Over Hex? Come’on! If there was ever a goalie that was actually a Team Captain in any true sense of the term, it would be Hex…

    The only way Lou should keep the ‘C’ next year is if he decides to play up the chach role a little more and sport a gold chain or two and chew on a tooth pick during his post-game interviews.

    So MG and AV are going to meet with Lou soon to discuss the captaincy… I don’t think he wants to give it up as that would be an admission of inadequacy (no true-blooded chach has ever come close to an admission of that level and severity). I read recently that Lou shaved his head… if that’s true, and the greasy locks are indeed gone, it may signal a new Lou… a maturation from chach-hood to a more sophisticated, ‘C’-less, puck-stopping machine.

    Reply
  19. Robyn on July 23, 2010

    First of all, this isn't a soap opera. You don't give the captaincy to someone in hopes that it changes their play/gives them more confidence. That is a terrible gamble to take, and hence, why TT said a player needs to earn it. You have to already be a confident leader in order to be name captain. Bieksa is not that, and he's barely a competent player at this point as well. His best seasons were before those leg injuries. n nSecondly, Bieksa for Filatov would be a steal of epic proportions. Filatov had a hat-trick in his first six NHL games and is only 20 years old. Bieksa is an overpaid 29 year-old d-man whose best years are behind him. It is unfathomable how some people are not behind this trade. n nFinally, I can see giving Henrik the captaincy, but I would rather give it to Kesler. Quiet captains work on some teams (see: Detroit and Nick Lidstrom), but this is a team that needs a fire lit under its ass, and I see no one better to do that than the most physical, best two-way player on the team, Ryan Kesler.

    Reply
  20. Robyn on July 23, 2010

    First of all, this isn’t a soap opera. You don’t give the captaincy to someone in hopes that it changes their play/gives them more confidence. That is a terrible gamble to take, and hence, why TT said a player needs to earn it. You have to already be a confident leader in order to be name captain. Bieksa is not that, and he’s barely a competent player at this point as well. His best seasons were before those leg injuries.

    Secondly, Bieksa for Filatov would be a steal of epic proportions. Filatov had a hat-trick in his first six NHL games and is only 20 years old. Bieksa is an overpaid 29 year-old d-man whose best years are behind him. It is unfathomable how some people are not behind this trade.

    Finally, I can see giving Henrik the captaincy, but I would rather give it to Kesler. Quiet captains work on some teams (see: Detroit and Nick Lidstrom), but this is a team that needs a fire lit under its ass, and I see no one better to do that than the most physical, best two-way player on the team, Ryan Kesler.

    Reply

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