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Ducks acquire Bieksa from Canucks for draft pick

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The Anaheim Ducks acquired defenseman Kevin Bieksa from the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday in a trade for a second-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Bieksa, 34, who played 10 seasons with Vancouver, reportedly had a no-trade clause he needed to waive.

"It's obviously been a difficult process the last few weeks with my family, going through this and trying to decide where we're going to be heading," Bieksa told the Ducks website. "San Jose was one of my choices, but Anaheim was always at the top of my list and one of my main choices. We tried to make the best decision for my family and for my hockey career. At the end of the day, Anaheim was the best fit for us."

Bieksa will join former teammate Ryan Kesler with the Ducks; the forward was traded to Anaheim last offseason.

"I've been talking to him throughout the process a little bit, and he's given me nothing but great reviews about the team, the players, the city, the fans," Bieksa said. "We've been talking the whole season, and he's been very happy there, his family is very happy there."

Bieksa had 56 goals and 185 assists (241 points) with a plus-22 rating and 879 penalty minutes in 597 games with Vancouver. He ranks sixth among Canucks defensemen in scoring, assists and games, and fourth in PIM.

"For us to transition this group, these are decisions we have to make and what we have to do," Canucks president Trevor Linden said.

Vancouver was trying to trade Bieksa at the 2015 NHL Draft but could not reach a deal.

"We wanted a second-round pick for Kevin and Anaheim was willing to do that," Canucks general manager Jim Benning said. "Our goal was to get that pick."

Bieksa had four goals, 10 assists and an even rating this season.

"It's obviously a bittersweet day," Bieksa said. "I think it will get better as time goes on. I've known for a few weeks now that my days as a Vancouver Canuck were going to be numbered. It's a bit emotional, but I had a great run in Vancouver. It's a great organization, and I have nothing but great memories in Vancouver."

With this trade, Ducks veteran defenseman Francois Beauchemin is expected to become a free agent Wednesday.

"He's a right-hand shot, and [Beauchemin] is a left who plays the right side," Ducks GM Bob Murray said. "I think Kevin skates better than [Beauchemin] does at this point in time, partly because [Beauchemin] has had both knees worked on. … They're both tough and they both have a mean streak. They're both competitive guys."

Bieksa will join a unit that includes Simon Despres (23 years old), Cam Fowler (23), Hampus Lindholm (21) and Sami Vatanen (24).

"I've always had a lot of respect for the Anaheim Ducks, and obviously [Ryan Getzlaf] and [Corey Perry] are guys I’ve battled with a lot of over the years," Bieksa said. "We all have the same purpose, and that’s to win a Stanley Cup, so I think things will go over smoothly."

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