Published On: Mon, Aug 22nd, 2016

Dreams of Stanley Cup keep Bieksa going

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Kevin Bieksa was a win away – twice. Three periods. Sixty minutes. He still thinks about how close he was to the Stanley Cup. How could he not?

He was a member of the Vancouver Canucks then, and his team lost Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final to the Boston Bruins 4-0. In excruciating fashion.

The Canucks were up 2-0 and 3-2 in the series. Vancouver outshot Boston 37-21 in the deciding game, played at home in Rogers Arena. So close. And, in a way, it’s that painful loss that continues to motivate the 35-year-old defenseman.

Bieksa, now on the Anaheim Ducks‘ blue line, was in Richmond, B.C., last week, and told The Province’s Steve Ewen that he wants to play after his two-year contract in SoCal ends in 2018.

“Who knows? If we had won a Stanley Cup back in 2011, maybe my perspective would have changed,” Bieksa said. “I’m at the point in my career where I really want to win a Stanley Cup, and I’ve wanted to win one for 30 years, and I’ve dreamed about it for 30 years, and I’ve been as close as you can get.”

The veteran says he doesn’t feel 35, not physically. He’s going to keep trying to win a Cup, as long as he can help a team win, in any role.

Bieksa’s playing for a Cup contender in the Ducks, who welcome back Randy Carlyle behind the bench. Bieksa had four goals and 11 assists in 71 games last season, averaging more than 21 minutes in ice time per game. He was an important part of fired head coach Bruce Boudreau’s squad, and is no doubt looking forward to playing a similar role for Carlyle.

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