VANCOUVER - The Vancouver Canucks have made it official: Kevin Bieksa is returning for another five years.

News of the defenceman's US$23-million, five-year extension first broke Monday and the team announced the new contract Tuesday.

Bieksa was eligible for unrestricted free agency but elected to stay with the only NHL team he's ever known.

A front-loaded deal will pay him $7 million next season and will be followed by years of $4.5 million, $5 million, $4 million and $2.5 million in 2015-16.

The 30-year-old had 22 points (six goals, 16 assists) in 66 games last season.

In 347 career NHL games, Bieksa has put up 34 goals and 147 points.