Kevin Bieksa praises Canucks’ ‘unbelievable’ NHL veteran-laden coaching staff

Photo credit:Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Gould
7 months ago
Make no mistake: Kevin Bieksa likes what he’s seen from this new-look Vancouver Canucks coaching staff.
The longtime Canucks defenceman appeared on a recent edition of the Spittin’ Chiclets podcast with Paul Bissonnette and Ryan Whitney and shared some insight on what the team’s younger players have learned from the likes of Adam Foote and the Sedins.
Bieksa didn’t mince words. The 42-year-old analyst called Rick Tocchet’s staff “unbelievable” and provided plenty of reasons for optimism for the upcoming season, which will be Tocchet’s first full year behind the bench in Vancouver.
Here’s a brief excerpt from Bieksa’s appearance on the podcast:
Paul Bissonnette: You’ve got Adam Foote helping ’em out, you’ve got Sergei Gonchar, and apparently it’s going to be the Sedin brothers helping with the power play. Like, how do you think that collective help from that coaching staff will amplify the group?
Kevi Bieksa: It’ll be unbelievable. Again, if you’re a guy in that locker room, on that team, how do you not listen to these voices? These guys are Hall of Famers, like, Olympians, All-Stars, like, you’ve got everything. The Sedins kind of started getting onto the ice more and more last year.
They were showing some of these guys that, like, talking with Chris Higgins, [who] works for the team, he was like, ‘[The Sedins] are showing these guys something where I’m still learning.’ Like, Higgins has been retired now and the Sedins are showing him something, like, on the wall, how to counter-pinch a defenceman, and he’s like, ‘Oh my god, like, that is so smart.’ What an asset.
And then Adam Foote, I got to know Footer a bunch because we kind of both worked for my agent, and he’s another guy, he’s got all these little old-school tricks.
Bissonnette: Yeah, like butt-ending a guy in the spleen?
Bieksa: Yeah, but a little more subtle than that. Just something simple like, when you make a pass, your first step after you make your pass is recover to the middle. So you make your pass, wherever it is in the D-zone, first step is recover to the middle. Just little tips like that, that some of these guys aren’t taught at a young age. I don’t think there’s as much teaching anymore of how the game is played and structure, like, it’s more like skill development. To have guys like that I think is going to be huge for them.
Bieksa spent the first 10 seasons of his NHL career with the Canucks, helping the club reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2011 and win the Presidents’ Trophy in back-to-back seasons.
The Canucks traded Bieksa to the Anaheim Ducks in 2015. He played three years in SoCal before finding himself without a team after the 2017–18 season. After joining Sportsnet hockey broadcasts as an analyst, Bieksa officially retired in 2022 after signing a commemorative one-day contract with the Canucks.

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