You can believe who you want to believe.
According to Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa, it was a “very normal summer” for him.
According to the Canucks.com message boards, he didn’t leave his Yaletown condo much this summer because the anguish of swirling trade rumours were eating at his insides like a 3 a.m. stop at Fritz Fries.
I think I’ll side with Bieksa on this one.
The rugged Canuck, who has been linked to trades with upwards of four teams including Columbus, skated at UBC Tuesday alongside Manny Malhotra, Alex Edler, Darcy Hordichuk, Kevin Connauton, Prab Rai, Tayor Ellington, Aaron Volpatti, Chris Tanev, Brendan Morrison and Willie Mitchell.
Morrison and Mitchell were the only players not sporting either a white or blue Canucks practice jersey as they’re the only players not under contract with Vancouver. Bieksa, bullish in blue, is and has been all summer.
“I had a good summer back home, nice and relaxing, I’m kind of used to this thing by now, so I don’t really put a whole lot into it and it doesn’t really both me,” said Bieksa, who had his name tossed around in trade talks last off-season as well. “I don’t read the latest rumours. It’s nice to be out here skating and I’m happy to be back in Vancouver.”
Bieksa hasn’t spoken to Mike Gillis this summer, he’ll do so in the weeks to come with the clock counting down to training camp in Penticton. Until then, it’s business as usual for Juice.
“I’m the same player I was five years ago and I’ll be the same player for the next five years. My mindset is the same, come to camp in as good as shape as I can and be ready to go.”
Asked about the additions on defence - additions on defence that create cap space issues for the Canucks - Bieksa applauded the moves made.
“We obviously brought in a lot of depth on defence and we’ve had some freakish injuries on defence in the last couple years, so that’s probably a good thing.”
Does Vancouver’s bolstered defence make it the team to beat, on paper?
“That would be the right answer every year to say, it’s the best team on paper. We all know that that doesn’t mean a whole lot when the season starts, it’s how quickly we come together and gel and the chemistry we have and I like the type of guys that we brought in.”