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Vancouver Canucks sign defenceman Kevin Bieksa to five-year extension

VANCOUVER - The Vancouver Canucks have kept Kevin Bieksa from hitting the free-agent market, signing the defenceman to a US$23-million, five-year extension.

The team wasn't expected to announce the deal on Monday but a source confirmed it had been completed.

Bieksa would have become an unrestricted free agent on Friday.

The 30-year-old has spent his entire career in Vancouver after being selected by the team in the fifth round of the 2001 draft.

Bieksa is coming off a season where he had 22 points (six goals, 16 assists) in 66 games and scored the overtime goal that eliminated San Jose and sent Vancouver to the Stanley Cup final.

In 347 career games, Bieksa had 34 goals and 147 points.

He earned $3.5 million last season.

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