The Vancouver Canucks have traded defenseman Kevin Bieksa to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a second-round pick in 2016.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move is a straightforward salary dump, as it’s a very low return for a defenseman of Bieksa’s caliber. Granted, the 34-year-old blueliner has declined in the past couple of seasons. Still, one would think the Canucks would’ve received a better return, perhaps a good young player or a prospect with the pick.
This trade clears Bieksa’s $4.6 million cap hit from the Canucks books, giving them over $8.2 million in cap space. I believe GM Jim Benning will use part of that to acquire a younger defenseman via trade or free agency.
Acquiring Bieksa means the Ducks won’t be re-signing UFA blueliner Francois Beauchemin. The 35-year-old Beauchemin logged lots of ice time and was seen as a mentor for the Ducks young defensemen. Bieksa will be stepping into some big skates for next season.