The season is starting real soon and while this is exciting for all National Hockey League fans out there, some veteran free agents are worried to see the offseason come to an end.
Especially if the phone has not rung…
Kevin Bieksa, who turned 37 years old this offseason, is still looking for a place to play. After spending the past three years with the Anaheim Ducks, Bieksa is likely facing the possibility of having to forget about this season, especially now that it has been revealed that he refused an offer!
In his latest 31 Thoughts column on Sportsnet, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman revealed that Bieksa refused to sign with one NHL team that was too far from his family:
Kevin Bieksa said Tuesday that he was talking to an NHL team as recently as two weeks ago about something for this season, but ultimately said no because it meant living alone too far from his family. “My wife (Katie) is very supportive about me playing if I want to. Same with my father and my brothers. Saying no was not their decision. But being away from my children at this time in their lives is not something I’m interested in at this point in their lives.”
His son is turning 11, his daughter nine. He’s taking them to school every day, attending their extra-curricular pursuits, happy to be a dad. “I’m not retired, but it would have to be something close to home (California).”
While Bieksa might have missed out on the chance of playing this season, he is still training in case a team in the California area calls for his services.
“Yes, as if I was going to play. I’m still in better shape than 95 per cent of the players and 100 per cent of the media.”
Bieksa missed the final month of the regular calendar last spring after undergoing surgery to remove scar tissue from his left hand. He returned for one game in the playoffs, playing just 13:11, before the Ducks were swept by the San Jose Sharks.
Many Vancouver Canucks fans would love to see him back with the club. A veteran of 808 NHL games, Bieksa ranks eighth all-time in goals (56) by a Canucks defenseman.
The clock is ticking, Bieksa… Maybe he will regret his decision in the end.