The deal was as good as done: Jim Benning and Ron Wilson had the pieces in place to send Kevin Bieksa to the San Jose Sharks. Apparently, as crazy as Wilson is to send players like Ehrhoff for a cap dump and parts, he’s equally mad when it comes to basic verbiage in trade talks. Bieksa was a Shark and Wilson had to have back tracked on what he said he’d deliver to Vancouver. A 2015 2nd round pick was supposed to go the other way but it seems he balked on the year. So is Kevin Bieksa hanging around?
It happens all the time in fantasy sports; two guys are ready to make a deal and someone gets cold feet. It usually pisses off the other guy and the damage has already been done regardless of if the trade eventually gets made. We have all been pretty harsh on Jim Benning, including myself, but the man was trying to get a deal done that made everyone happy.
According to Elliotte Friedman’s weekly article “30 thoughts“, Bieksa had made a trip to San Jose to look for houses already. He had prepared himself for his new reality. Taken from said article:
According to a couple of different sources, three entities — Bieksa/Overhardt, the Canucks and the Sharks — were working on this for at least a week and probably longer. In fact, the player recently visited the San Jose area with his family to look at houses. Knowing that, it’s incredible this didn’t work out. Everyone involved had plenty of time to understand the parameters. As you can imagine, there’s a lot of private disgust.
Now, Bieksa hasn’t exactly been amazing the last few years but injuries and the eventual partnership with Luca Sbisa haven’t given him much to hang to. Lost in all this are his leadership qualities. We see grumpy Kevin in the media a lot but this guy was thought so highly of that Team Canada gave him the “A” last year at the World Championships.
He can be frustrating to watch at times with giveaways and some less than stellar decision making but with the injuries he has sustained in his career, one could wonder if maybe he’s trying to keep his body from falling apart. A healthy Bieksa is an affective one. That and being given the reigns again to make the offensive push that turned him into the player he is.
Juice had some of his best years with Dan Hamhuis when Hammer could hang back and play it safe while he pinched and made the risky play. Kevin Bieksa has a good amount to offer still and hopefully wherever he is, he’s given that chance.
With the whole Luongo fiasco that took place the last few years, it looks like Kevin is the next guy to get the shaft. With one year left on his deal, a failed attempt to move him somewhere new and quite frankly a lot of questions coming: why doesn’t Vancouver just keep him?
Players goto free agency all the time and for whatever reason GM’s feel that its always neccesary to get a full return on every player. Sometimes, that just doesn’t happen no matter how bad they want it. It isn’t easy to let a player walk at the end of the day but after what’s just gone down, they probably owe him that at the very least.
Like many players the last few seasons, Bieksa hasn’t looked the same and an aging core is quite evidently showing its face. If Benning doesn’t have something concrete before the season starts, let it ride until trade deadline. If it gets worse before then, revisit what the market is asking and go from there.
But for now, let the man enjoy his summer.
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Photo credit – canucks.com