AS the Canucks all filed in for one last chat with the press yesterday, it became clear early that Kevin Bieksa would be a focal point of conversation, and he didn’t disappoint.
Bieksa’s comments during the series with Calgary were magnified when they became part of the storyline. His insistence the Calgary forward and wrecking ball Michael Ferland was irrelevant was thrown in his face every time that Ferland stapled Bieksa’s backside to the boards, which was early and often. The Canucks to a man looked as though they had been put through the ringer, and a lot of credit for that could be put on the Calgary Flames insistence that if it was on the ice and wasn’t red or white, turn it black and blue.
Back to Bieksa, who is never short on sharing his pearls of wisdom when asked. When asked about whether youth would serve this team over experience, Bieksa cautioned all in attendance to be careful what they wished for. He stated youth and speed isn’t necessarily better than experience and puck possession as he put it.
Coming from a player that just had his butt whooped by youth and speed, it sounds like sour grapes.
We have seen since the lockout of a decade ago that the game is moving into a younger direction, we are now about two cycles into that philosophy and the talent is now catching up to the mantra. The young players aren’t only brought in because they are cheaper, it’s because they are now better than the experience that they are replacing.
Bieksa’s candor, while admirable, is flawed. You can never have enough youth and speed in the NHL, because over a short periof of time, the experience and possession follows.
It is thinking like Bieksa’s that eventually makes every player expendable, and I can guarantee you right now that every move made to augment this team in the off season will be to bring youth to the table, not away from it. Denial will not stop progress.