Canucks to sign Kevin Bieksa to a one-day contract

VANCOUVER, BC - NOVEMBER 17: Kevin Bieksa #3 of the Vancouver Canucks skates against the Dallas Stars at Rogers Arena on November 17, 2013 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Ben Nelms/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - NOVEMBER 17: Kevin Bieksa #3 of the Vancouver Canucks skates against the Dallas Stars at Rogers Arena on November 17, 2013 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Ben Nelms/Getty Images) /
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The Vancouver Canucks will finally get to say a proper goodbye to one of the best defencemen in franchise history.

On Thursday afternoon, the team announced that blueliner Kevin Bieksa will be signing a one-day contract with the organization, allowing him to officially retire as a Canuck.

Originally drafted 151st overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Bieksa spent the better part of 10 seasons patrolling the blueline for the Canucks between 2004 and 2015.

Prior to entering the big leagues, Bieksa also spent a few years with the Manitoba Moose of the AHL, amassing 12 goals and 30 assists in 85 regular season games, before officially establishing himself as an NHL defenceman.

Best known for his combination of physical play and offensive production, Bieksa currently ranks tied for seventh in goals (56), as well as sixth in assists (185), sixth in points (241) and fourth in penalty minutes (897) amongst all defencemen in franchise history.

His best offensive seasons came during his time in Vancouver, setting career-highs in goals (12) in 2006-07, as well as assists (36) and points (44) in 2011-12.

Bieksa also played a key part for Vancouver in the playoffs, particularly during their 2011 Stanley Cup run.

The Grimsby, Ontario native amassed five goals and five assists in 25 games that postseason, which was undoubtedly highlighted by his series-clinching, double overtime stanchion tally against the Sharks that sent the Canucks to the finals.

In total, Bieksa played in 71 postseason games for Vancouver, notching 25 points and 122 PIM, which still currently stands as the highest ever from a Vancouver defenceman.

He also ranks 11th all-time in games played (597) and ninth in penalty minutes (879) amongst all Canucks players.

"“I am both honoured and grateful to officially end my NHL career as a Vancouver Canuck,” said Bieksa in a statement. “It was a privilege to start my career with this amazing organization, in this incredible city, with the best fans in the league. I am and always have been a Canuck at heart and it’s fitting I retire as one.”"

Bieksa’s one-day contract and retirement will be celebrated on November 3rd when the Canucks face off against the Anaheim Ducks, the only other NHL club that Bieksa suited up for in his hockey career.

Bieksa recorded seven goals and 22 assists in 211 games during his time in California before hanging up the skates to join Sportsnet as a broadcaster and analyst shortly afterwards.

The night, which will include a commemorative pregame tribute and a limited edition merchandise collection, will allow Bieksa to officially retire from the game of hockey, something he planned on doing with Vancouver a few years ago.

During an interview with The Athletic, Bieksa revealed that he was originally going to sign a one-day contract with the Canucks back on March 28th, 2020, but the pandemic unfortunately had other ideas.

"“It was actually my dad’s idea. I don’t need to retire – officially. I don’t need the attention. My dad was like, ‘It’s good for the Canucks. Good for your legacy.’ I’m basically doing it for my dad. I’m supposed to retire as a Canuck.”"

Fortunately, just over two and a half years later, fans will finally get to pay tribute to Bieksa and his legacy in this city.

Next. What to expect from newly acquired defenceman Riley Stillman. dark

What are your thoughts on Bieksa’s one-day contract? Let us know in the comments!