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Phillips out, Bieksa in Written by Nomis Dlaeh - March 19th, 2011

It came down to the final minute with 2 good offers on the table. In the end GM Heald made a trade with a division rival.

 

Chris Phillips was acquired in a 2010 draft day deal, along with with 5th round pick, from Anaheim for 1st and 3rd round selections. Just 8 months later he packs his bags again to head to a playoff contending team in Washington.

"Our intention when we brought Chris in during the off-season was to build a playoff team around a solid defence corps. We feel Chris did a very good job here in Atlanta but for whatever reason the team chemistry just did not develop as we hoped. Hopefully he can guide the Caps to the playoffs and have a good run at the Cup." GM Heald said in a press conference

"We get a very good defenceman back in Kevin Bieksa who is signed for 2 more years at a manageable price and we acquired a 2nd round pick, something we didn't have this year, so I am very happy with the return."

Bieksa has scored 11 goals this season, all on the powerplay, and 20 assists.

Heald was mulling over another offer from the Boston Bruins which, some sources say, included Matt Moulson. The Bruin winger would probably have been NHL re-rated in the off-season and that would most likely have seen his salary go from $2M to somewhere in the $3.5M-$4.25M region, something the club did not feel so comfortable with given the fact Moulson has not proven himself a dependable scorer in the CMHL. Bieksa provides a little more stability and everyone knows you cannot have enough quality defencemen in your system. The choice was a tough one to make for GM Heald given the team doesn't have a goal scorer on the farm to match Moulson's stats.

"He would have been an interesting player to have just to see if he could put it all together."

Bieksa can now expect to play alongside Alexander Edler, his good buddy.

 

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