Yesterday afternoon the Vancouver Canucks re signed potential unrestricted free agent Kevin Bieksa to a 5-year $23 million deal. Bieksa had a breakout season in 2010-2011. He recorded 6 goals and 16 assists in 66 games played this past season. The one stat that is truly amazing is that he was a +32 for the Canucks. Being a minus player for most of his career, Bieksa made huge strides and was a major reason for the Vancouver Canucks successful season. The Grimsby, Ontario native has spent all 6 of his NHL seasons with the Canucks and he strongly wanted to remain with the club for the upcoming years. He believes that there is no better place to play hockey. He loves the fans, the city of Vancouver, and all the individuals in the Canucks organization. Bieksa’s deal will earn him an annual pay of $4.6 million and the deal also includes a no trade clause. It was evident that Mike Gillis made it a priority to re sign his top defenseman. Gillis certainly did not want Bieksa to hit the open market on July 1st. The Canucks also re signed forward Maxime Lapierre to a 2-year $2 million contract. Lapierre was accquired at the trade deadline from Anaheim and he was a great 3rd and 4th line grinder for the Canucks. He provided great energy in the playoffs and also recorded 5 points throughout the long playoff run. The Canucks still have plenty of work to do this offseason. Vancouver still has 22 players set to become free agents on July 1st including Sami Salo, Christian Ehrhoff, Chris Higgins, and Raffi Torres. The signing of Bieksa is huge for the Canucks. Bieksa is definitely a major piece of the Canucks back end and he has grown to be a great defenseman that the Canucks are very happy to have locked up for the next 5 years.
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