Monday, July 09, 2007

Bieksa breaks the bank

Almost unbelievably, Kevin Bieksa is now the Vancouver Canucks' highest-paid defenceman.

Bieksa signed a long-term deal with the Canucks today for what is reportedly $3.75-million per year, another new CBA deal that rewards a player's potential more than anything they've accomplished to this point. Bieksa certainly had a nice sophomore season with 42 points in 81 games, but for him to get more coin than Mattias Ohlund, Willie Mitchell (a UFA signing last year) and Sami Salo?

An interesting development, to be sure. At least for Vancouver fans, he'll be a bargain this season at $525,000 before the new deal kicks in for 2008-09.

UPDATE
Vancouver Canucks Senior Vice-President and General Manager Dave Nonis announced today that the Canucks have signed free agent defenceman Aaron Miller.

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13 Comments:

At 2:38 PM, July 09, 2007, Blogger McLea said...

but for him to get more coin than Mattias Ohlund, Willie Mitchell (a UFA signing last year) and Sami Salo?

Well he's better than all of them don't you think? With the new rules, I guarantee we start seeing more and more guys that look and play just like Bieska. I'd kill to have a guy like him on the Flames.

 
At 2:39 PM, July 09, 2007, Blogger PPP said...

He will definitely look very good as long as Luongo is behind him.

 
At 3:02 PM, July 09, 2007, Anonymous Anshu said...

I agree with Mclea that Bieksa is worth more than the other defencemen in Vancouver. And when it comes to salary, he is being compensated retroactively for outplaying his current deal, so the money isn't that far out of line.

Having said that, I don't think Muckler got enough credit for extending Volchenkov and Phillips for as little money as he did, given where salaries have gone in the last few weeks.

 
At 3:16 PM, July 09, 2007, Blogger Art Vandelay said...

I'd kill to have a guy like him on the Flames.
You do. His name is Phaneuf.

 
At 3:27 PM, July 09, 2007, Anonymous Frank said...

James, your comparing apples and oranges in looking at the different salaries. You can't compare one salary that was signed two years ago under a $39 million cap with one signed one year ago under a $44 million cap,with one signed this year under a $50 million cap, and Bieksa's contract, which is really next year's signing, under a cap of probably $55 million.

The best way to look at this is to combine Bieksa's salary for this year of $525k with the $11.25 for the next three years to arrive at a $11.775 million contract for four years, or $2.95 million per year.

This is very similar to Tom Preissing's recent signing with the LA Kings for $11.0 million for 4 years or $2.75 million per year.

Both players had break out seasons (38 pts. for Preissing and 44 points for Bieksa) but Bieksa is by far the better defensively, and was the number two penalty killer behind Willie Mitchell. He also has a mean streak and can drop the gloves when required. Therefore, Bieksa has shown he has the potential to be a #1 or #2 Dman, which Preissing has not shown.

Therefore, Beiksa's contract is a bargain in today's market under a cap of $50 million.

 
At 3:40 PM, July 09, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Preissing was a UFA; Bieksa was not.

Also... we're going to start overcompensating players based on the fact they signed earlier deals that undercompensated them? How insane is that?

 
At 3:51 PM, July 09, 2007, Blogger Yammer said...

Bieksa was a pending UFA. At 27, being a right handed shot with good (not great) performance at all areas of the game, and strong character, he was likely to command significant dollars next season. As a Canuck fan, I'm not sorry about this signing at all.

What I am wondering about is how long the Canucks will carry four D at $3.5+ million. As far as I know, the other fellows have no-movement clauses. Could Bieksa be a sign-and-trade?

 
At 4:06 PM, July 09, 2007, Anonymous cjl said...

Keep in mind that really all three of Ohlund, Salo, and Mitchell signed for less than market value in order to stay in Vancouver (or in Mitchell's case, return home to BC).

And if Cory Sarich is worth $3.6 mil per season (or whatever it is) and Roman Hamrlik is worth $5.5 mil, getting Bieksa locked up a year before he becomes a UFA for just $3.75 million per season is hardly outrageous.

 
At 4:13 PM, July 09, 2007, Anonymous Frank said...

Yammer, apart from the distribution, there is not much difference between Vancouver and Anahiem for the top 4 Dmen plus goalie.

Anahiem: Pronger (6.25) Schneider (5.63) Beauchemin (1.65) O'Donnell (1.25) Giguere (6.00) - Total $20.78 million. (Assumes Neidermeyer retires).

Vancouver: Ohlund (3.50) Mitchell (3.50) Salo (3.50) Bieksa (3.75) Luongo (6.75) - Toatal $21.00 million.

 
At 4:19 PM, July 09, 2007, Blogger PPP said...

*Yammer, apart from the distribution, there is not much difference between Vancouver and Anahiem for the top 4 Dmen plus goalie.*

And the quality.

 
At 4:27 PM, July 09, 2007, Anonymous Frank said...

Yammer, I take it all back, the Canucks just announced they signed Aaron Miller. Didn't announce salary but it has to be at least $2.5 miilion.

Therefore, your right, one of the Vancouver Dmen will be traded. Perhaps that rumour of Morrison, Ohlund and Cory Schneider to NJ for Elias might be right after all.

 
At 10:36 AM, July 10, 2007, Anonymous Anshu said...

Preissing was a UFA; Bieksa was not.

All the more reason to lock him up now. The better players continue to make disproportionately more than what would be expected given the rate of cap increase. The sooner you lock up such a player, even at a salary that appears high at the time, the better off you are.

Kevin Lowe doesn't get enough credit for breaking the $6M psychological barrier with Pronger. At the time, the number seemed outrageous. Now, it looks like an absolute steal.

Also... we're going to start overcompensating players based on the fact they signed earlier deals that undercompensated them? How insane is that?

This has almost always been the case, especially when a player extends with the same team. The team got the earlier discount, so players reasonably expect that discrepency to be corrected if they re-sign. The team benefits from the continuity (both on the ice and off) by paying a little more. In return, the player gives up their option to test free agency later, but is insured against last season being a fluke.

I think after next year, anything less than $4M for Bieksa will look like an absolute steal, so this deal is win-win for both parties, but mostly for the Canucks.

 
At 3:18 PM, July 13, 2007, Blogger Knotwurth Mentioning said...

Also, remember that any points whatsoever are at a premium in Vancouver. The other three defensemen are all solid in their own zone, but aside from Salo's big shot, they don't have all that much to contribute offensively. If Bieksa can become a veritable combination of scoring and defense, the Canucks need him more than the other three even if he's not as dominant defensively, simply because no one else on the team is going to get them any points. As a Canucks fan, I am great with this move!

 

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