Ward is just the type of player we need on the Canucks, he'd give us so many options and depth.
Sedin, D - Sedin, H - Burrows
Raymond - Kesler - Samuelsson
Torres - Malhotra - Hansen
That is a deep, skilled and gritty top nine.
Sub in Hansen and it isn't? Still looks pretty nice to me, and Hansen and Manny seem to be developing some nice chemistry. Hansen is also a better skater and hitter, he already has over 3x the number of hits that Ward has.
To be honest, I just hope that we get one or two guys for the fourth line that have the skill to get the puck up the ice, can forecheck, and can somehow displace Desbien and Glass from their nests in AV's heart. Ugh.
There's no question that we've beat up on Bieksa way more than how he's actually played so far this year. He hasn't been great but he hasn't been a complete failure either. I would characterize him as ok but inconsistent.
Also, he would play better if he was more confident - of course that's a vicious circle (bad play > fan discontent > lost confidence > further bad play > further fan discontent) that only really gets broken by being traded (although trading him to Montreal is highly unlikely to restore his confidence...)
If you limit his minutes and put him on the bottom pairing, he's close to being ok although you'd rather have a very responsible defensive dman on the bottom pairing esp. for the away games where he may have to face the other teams' best at times.
The problem for the Canucks is what to do once Salo is back and everyone is healthy? Trading or waiving Bieksa seems like the only option cap wise.