This from Blues writer Andy Strickland. I dunno. I would have thought next year would be Bieksa's last, not that many athletes see the end clearly when it is at hand. I feel like this is a poison pill, designed to make it impossible for Benning and the Canucks to move Bieksa. Though I guess it does confirm the suspicion that Sbisa was signed to replace Bieksa.
**Zany Edit / Addition**
Then this from Kuzma and Spector's Hockey: THE PROVINCE: Jim Jamieson reports the Vancouver Canucks could have only $3 million in cap space for next season (assuming the current cap ceiling rises to $70 million) "to sign three defencemen and three forwards to get to the usual 23-player roster size." Jamieson considers defenseman Kevin Bieksa an obvious trade candidate, as he has a year left on his contract at a cap hit of $4.6 million and is eligible next summer for UFA status. He would have to waive his no-trade clause. Other trade options could be defenseman Dan Hamhuis ($4.5 million), Radim Vrbata ($5 million) or Alex Burrows ($4.5 million). Ben Kuzma reports the Arizona Coyotes are willing to listen to offers for the third overall pick in the upcoming NHL Draft, but Canucks GM Jim Benning has no intention of moving prospects or promising center Bo Horvat to move up to that spot. "Benning is more concerned with recouping second- and third-round picks for this draft that were surrendered in the Sven Baertschi and Ryan Kesler deals respectively." Kuzma speculates goalie Jacob Markstrom or Eddie Lack (if a new contract can’t be worked out) could fetch a second-round pick, as could Bieksa.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bieksa and Hamhuis seem the more attractive candidates, not just to clear cap room but also because the Canucks defense corps must get younger and faster. Vrbata only has a year left on his contract and played well for the most part last season. The Canucks will miss his offense if they trade him. Burrows is obviously in decline and has two seasons left on his contract. I doubt there’s much interest in him.