If trade talks between the Sharks and Canucks for Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa break down, it won't be because of Bieksa himself. The 34-year-old defenseman is reportedly willing to waive his no-trade clause in order to come to San Jose, although there still isn't a deal in place between the two clubs.
Good morning. Word today is Kevin Bieksa has informed VAN he would accept a trade to SJ. Now up to the teams to work out a deal.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 26, 2015
The rumored asking price for Bieksa is the usual "picks and prospects" that gets floated for seemingly every player on the trade market at this time of year. One reporter suggested the Canucks will "certainly expect" a second round pick in return. Trading the 39th overall pick for an aging defenseman who doesn't appear to be able to hack it in top-four minutes anymore seems like a dubious proposition for the Sharks. Perhaps dealing one of their two second rounders from next year's draft would be more palatable, although trading their own 2016 2nd would take San Jose out of the running for many offer sheets including one that could land them Kings goalie Martin Jones.
As we discussed yesterday, Bieksa isn't terrible but he's nowhere near the top-pairing blueliner he once was and is decidedly a defensive liability at this point. With nearly $18 million in cap space burning a hole in the Sharks' wallet heading into one of the best free agent classes for defensemen in years, giving up a positive-value asset for a declining 34-year-old likely to play on the third pairing and take up nearly $5 million in cap space seems like a bad idea. We'll have to wait and see whether Bieksa is part of a bigger deal that also includes one of Vancouver's goalies.