Monday, June 27, 2011
Updated: June 29, 12:12 PM ET
Canucks keep Kevin Bieksa
ESPN.com news services
Kevin Bieksa signed a five-year deal Tuesday with the Vancouver Canucks, forgoing unrestricted free agency.
The deal is worth $23 million deal, a source told ESPN.com. Bieksa, who earned $3.5 million this past season, will earn $7 million in 2011-12.
The rest of his contract breakdown: $4.5 million in
2012-13; $5 million in
2013-14; $4 million in 2014-15; and $2.5 million in the last year.
Bieksa, who turned 30 on June 16, had six goals, 16 assists and
was tied for second in the NHL with a plus-32 rating in 66 regular
season games last season.
He played his best hockey after being
united with Dan Hamhuis on a defensive pairing that regularly went
up against the opposition's best forwards down the stretch.
Bieksa had five goals and five assists in 25 playoff games,
including the Western Conference-clinching goal in double-overtime
against the San Jose Sharks.
Originally selected in the fifth round of the 2001 NHL draft out
of Bowling Green, Bieksa has 34 goals and 113 assists in 347 games
with the Canucks.
He suffered a pair of serious skate cuts to his
legs in 2007-08 and 2009-10, and only got back to full health last
There was widespread speculation a year ago he would be traded
to clear salary-cap space, but that ended when fellow defenseman
Sami Salo tore his Achilles last summer, and Bieksa re-emerged as
one of Vancouver's more reliable two-way defenders.
Information from ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun and The Associated Press was used in this report.