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Canucks bolster defence by re-signing Bieksa, adding free agent Miller

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Bieksa, 26, of Grimsby, Ont., native had 12 goals and led all Canucks defencemen with 30 assists and 42 points last season.

The extension runs through the 2010-'11 campaign. He will get $4.25 million in 2008-'09 and $3.5 million in each of the final two seasons. Bieksa will make $550,000 next season.

Assistant GM Steve Tambellini said Bieksa brings a lot of qualities to the team.

"Leadership, toughness, his ability to play in specialty situations," Tambellini said. "Maybe more importantly to us, he was willing to forego his free agency year and commit to the Canucks long-term."

Bieksa had 134 penalty minutes over 81 games last season, and was second among Vancouver skaters with an average of over 24 minutes of ice time.

He was held without a point and had 20 penalty minutes in nine playoff games. In 120 career regular-season games with Vancouver, Bieksa has 48 points (12-36) and 211 penalty minutes. The six-foot-one 205-pounder was selected by the Canucks in the fifth round (151st overall) of the 2001 NHL entry draft.

Miller, 35, appeared in 82 games last season with the Los Angeles Kings, registering eight assists and 60 penalty minutes.

"I know (the Canucks) have a deep defensive core but I'm willing to accept any role," Miller said. "I want to win and I think it's a great place to play."

The 11-year veteran has 24 goals and 86 assists in 620 career NHL games.

"He is a presence, there's no question about it," Tambellini said. "Aaron's reputation is well-earned. He's an intelligent defenceman but one that competes very hard every night."

Also Monday, the Toronto Maple Leafs signed forward David Ling to a one-year contract.

Ling, 32, played last season with Moscow Dynamo in the Russian Super League. In 42 games, he had 10 goals and 16 assists for 26 points with 91 penalty minutes.

Ling played for the Leafs' former AHL affiliate in St. John's in 2004-'05. In 93 career NHL games with Montreal and Columbus, Ling has recorded eight points (4-4) and 191 penalty minutes.

The Phoenix Coyotes signed left-winger Mike York to a $1-million, one-year contract.

He had 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points in 66 games with the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders last season. Bell>

York, who is joining his fifth NHL team, has recorded 308 points (121-187) in 515 career regular-season games.

Veteran forward Dallas Drake agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings.

Detroit originally selected Drake in the sixth round of the 1989 NHL entry draft. He played two seasons with the club before being traded to the Winnipeg Jets in 1994.

Last month the 38-year-old was placed on waivers by the St. Louis Blues, his team for the last six seasons. Drake signed a $2.2-million, two-year deal before last season and was due to make $1 million next year.

Drake has 174 goals and 297 assists in 944 career games. He ended last season on injured reserve because of a wrist injury.

The New York Islanders also named veteran Bill Guerin as their captain. Guerin, a 15-year NHL veteran, signed a two-year deal with the Islanders last week. He becomes the 11th captain in team history.

"This is an absolute honour and a responsibility I will not take lightly," Guerin said in a statement. "Coming to a team with such a rich tradition and history is special in itself, but wearing the 'C' is something much greater.

"I'll do everything I can to make the Islanders organization and our fans proud."

Guerin, 36, had 36 goals with 20 assists in 77 games last season with both the St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks. Guerin has 364 goals and 355 assists in 1,026 career NHL games.

The Dallas Stars signed veteran left-winger Todd Fedoruk to a $875,000, one-year deal.

Fedoruk, 28, appeared in 58 games last season with the Anaheim Ducks and Philadelphia Flyers, registering three goals and 11 assists. Fedoruk has 17 goals and 48 assists in 354 career NHL games.

The Boston Bruins agreed on contracts with forwards Jeremy Reich and Matt Hendricks.

Reich played two seasons in the Bruins' organization, dividing time last season between Boston and its minor league affiliate. In 32 games for Boston, the left wing had one assist and 83 penalty minutes.

Hendricks played last season for Hershey of the AHL. He had 18 goals, 28 assists and 105 penalty minutes in 65 games.



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