Canucks News & Rumors: Bieksa, Horvat & Mikheyev

In this edition of the Vancouver Canucks News & Rumors, the organization announced they signed Kevin Bieksa to a one-day contract. Also, more behind-the-scenes information between the club and Bo Horvat’s contract talks emerge. Additionally, Ilya Mikheyev was a full participant in practice on Friday.

Bieksa to Retire as a Canuck

The Canucks announced the club is signing Bieksa to a one-day contract on Thursday. The long-time defenceman is officially retiring as a Canucks on Nov 3rd against the Anahiem Ducks, the only other team he played for during his 13-year NHL career. 

“I am both honoured and grateful to officially end my NHL career as a Vancouver Canuck,” Bieksa said. “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.”

Substack Subscribe to the THW Daily and never miss the best of The Hockey Writers Banner

The Canucks drafted Bieksa in the fifth round of the 2001 Draft. The blueliner played in 10 seasons with the organization, competing in 597 games, scoring 56 goals, and posting 241 points. He also played 71 playoff games with the club, scoring 10 goals and posting 25 points. His most memorable goal came against the San Jose Sharks in Game 5 of the 2011 Western Conference Final to send the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Final for the third time in franchise history. Bieksa previously noted he planned on signing a one-day contract and retiring with the Canucks in March 2020 before the pandemic ended the regular season (from ‘Kevin Bieksa on his ‘Hockey Night’ evolution and why he hasn’t formally retired,’ The Athletic, June 5, 2022).

Related: Former Canuck Bieksa: From Fan Favourite to Media Star

“I was going to sign a one-day contract and retire as a Canuck two years ago, on March 28. I don’t even know where it stands. We had it planned, but COVID shut things down on the 15th. I had my flight booked and everything.”

The defenceman hasn’t played an NHL game since the 2017-18 season. Since the end of his playing days, he has served as a television analyst with Sportsnet and Hockey Night in Canada. 

Canucks in No Hurry to Extend Horvat

Darren Dreger joined Sekeres and Price on Tuesday and discussed Horvat’s contract situation. He noted the Canucks are in no hurry to sign their captain after getting a deal done with Miller. He added there needs to be a concession from one of the sides and believes it will have to come from Horvat. Dreger also wonders if the contract negotiations will bother the captain throughout the season.

Bo Horvat Vancouver Canucks
Bo Horvat, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Meanwhile, Pat Morris, Horvat’s agent, joined Donnie and Dhali on Thursday and discussed the Sean Couturier comparison for the forward. Morris noted he believes Horvat is a number one centre. 

“I think both sides have tried, but disagreement happens,” Morris said. “I always see the best agreement always is the one they don’t like and the one we don’t like. That creates an agreement. But we haven’t found that level yet.

“Some of these things take time. “It’s not every single player that gets an extension. If there’s a disagreement, it doesn’t happen. If there’s not a meeting of the minds or a consensus, you can’t get something done. You’re always hopeful when you start out. Vancouver always told me they like Bo Horvat a lot and they have him under contract for this year, but not beyond, unfortunately.”

Mikheyev Full Participant at Practice

Mikheyev was a full participant at practice on Friday in Philadelphia, according to The Athletic’s Harman Dayal. The forward skated alongside Elias Pettersson and Andrei Kuzmenko, rotating with Nils Hoglander. Additionally, he practiced with Vasily Podkolzin on the penalty kill. He has been out since the first team’s first preseason game due to a lower body. The Canucks take on the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday, which will be Mikheyev’s next opportunity to make his Canucks debut.

You may also like: