While Doug Wilson told CSN Bay Area's Kevin Kurz "I don't know where you guys get this stuff" in regards to rumors of a Kevin Bieksa trade to San Jose, Elliotte Friedman confirmed today that a deal to send the 34-year-old defenseman to the Sharks was far closer than their GM let on.
As in, Bieksa traveled to San Jose to look at Bay Area real estate close.
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.
Per Friedman, Canucks GM Jim Benning and Bieksa's agent Kurt Overhardt were both visibly frustrated on the draft floor at Wilson's reported last-minute unwillingness to give up the 39th overall pick in the 2015 draft to acquire Bieksa, insisting instead that Vancouver take one of the Sharks' 2016 2nd rounders.
There were also reports that the deal fell apart because of Bieksa's extension demands—either a three- or four-year deal at around $4 million per—but other sources believe the Sharks' willingness to sign Bieksa to a contract along those lines served as the defenseman's impetus for waiving his no-trade clause in the first place.
While we might never find out the actual details of why this trade fell through, we do know this: Kevin Bieksa will not be a Shark. And that's probably a good thing.