The Anaheim Ducks have locked up newly-acquired defenseman Kevin Bieksa to a two-year extension according to multiple media outlets.
The deal was first revealed by ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun, who was told by a source.
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The extension, which starts in the 2016-17 season, will pay Bieksa $4 million over for the course of those two seasons. The 34-year-old defenseman will get $4.6 million this season as part of the deal he signed with Vancouver, which the Ducks will now pay.
The 10-year veteran was acquired from the Pacific Division rival-Vancouver for a second-round selection in the 2016 NHL Draft. It will be a deal that will give some late-career security to Bieksa.
He’ll add to an already solid defensive corps, but Sami Vatanen, Simon Despres and Hampus Lindholm are all restricted free agents. All three could warrant well-deserved raise, and these contracts could pose a problem to Anaheim Ducks’ General Manager Bob Murray.
Bieksa will likely fill the role previously occupied by the outgoing, veteran defenseman Francois Beauchemin, who is of interest to other clubs like Colorado and Montreal.
Murray is familiar with Bieksa from Murray’s time in the Canucks’ organization, where Murray served as a scout.
Bieksa did have a sharp drop-off in numbers, as he only registered 14 points in 60 games in the 2014-15 campaign. That’s a sharp decline from the career-high of eight goals and 36 assists for 44 points in 2011-12. However, Bieksa does add experience is a hard-nosed and physical.
Follow all of Wednesday’s free agent signings with The Hockey Writers’ Free Agent Tracker.
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Covered hockey since attending SUNY Oswego in Upstate New York in the early 2000s. Has written about college, major junior and professional hockey for the last five years.
Resides in Watertown, NY.