San Jose Sharks Express Interest In Kevin Bieksa


Apr 4, 2015; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Winnipeg Jets forward Jiri Tlusty (91) collides with Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa (3) during the first period at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

San Jose Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson has made no secrets that he is looking to upgrade the Sharks defensive corps this offseason. It appears Wilson has found a potential target and it’s a longtime San Jose nemesis.

According to Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada, the Sharks are “very interested” in acquiring Kevin Bieksa of the Vancouver Canucks.

Bieksa, 34, is entering the final year of his contract and he carries a $4.6M cap hit. Bieksa’s play has been on the decline for the past couple of seasons. After registering a Corsi For percentage of 51.5 in 2013-14, it dropped to 48.5 last season.

Also, Bieksa saw his point total drop from 24 points to 14 points, while his ice time dropped by almost two minutes last season. Furthermore, Bieksa was a mainstay on the power play for Vancouver in 2013-14, accumulating 146 minutes and 31 seconds of ice time with the man advantage. However, those numbers dropped drastically to just 83:09 in 2014-15.

Bieksa is still a serviceable option at the NHL level, but he would probably fit best as a third-pair defenseman at this stage of his career. The cap hit is relatively high but it would just be for one year and the Sharks do have the cap space to absorb the hit.

The more interesting aspect is how Bieksa would fit into a San Jose locker room that has been an ongoing storyline for the past year-and-a-half. During the 2013 Western Conference Quarterfinals, Bieksa called out Logan Couture and Joe Thornton as “so-called Canadians” after accusing them of embellishment between Games 3 and 4. The Sharks would go on to sweep the Canucks.

Now, Bieksa does have a no-trade trade, but he’s indicated that he’d waive it for the right situation. I don’t think Bieksa would be the best option or fit with the Sharks, but Wilson is exploring every avenue with regards to upgrading the San Jose defense.

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