The Vancouver Canucks have signed defenseman Alex Biega on a new two-year contract extension worth $825,000 per season, according to many sources. The team later confirmed the signing.
The 29-year-old Biega has six assists in 31 games with the Canucks thus far this season. He also leads the team with 3.1 hits per game and currently sits in sixth place on the roster in blocks per game with 1.4.
“Alex has an incredible work ethic and is always prepared,” said Canucks general manager Jim Benning after the announcement in a press release. “He sets an example for our younger players to follow. We’re pleased to have Alex as part of our team moving forward.”
In 125 career NHL games, all with Vancouver, the 5-foot-10, the veteran blue liner has collected 17 points (1-16-17).
He is not the only defenseman that was recently signed by Vancouver during the chaotic days leading to Monday's trade deadline. Last Tuesday, the Canadian team signed pending unrestricted free agent Erik Gudbranson to a three-year, $12 million contract extension. Many expected Gudbranson to be on the move again, he would joined the Canucks after the 2015-16 season in a trade with the Florida Panthers for centre Jared McCann.
It was however veteran forward Thomas Vanek who ended up on the trade block and shipped out of Vancouver on Monday's deadline to the Columbus Blue Jackets. In return, the Canucks got back Tyler Motte and Jussi Jokinen in exchange for Vanek. For the entire season, Jokinen has been moving around, starting with the Edmonton Oilers, then claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Kings who dropped him back on the wire. The Blue Jackets grabbed him and now dumped him off to Vancouver in this trade.
Despite 17 goals and 41 points in 61 games this season for the Canucks, Vanek had to wait until the last minutes of the trade deadline to find his new destination.
After initially announcing he would be in their lineup Sunday night against the Arizona Coyotes, the Canucks were to sit out Vanek as protection against injury. And it was the right decision now that this deal has taken place.
Vanek is quite used to moving at the deadline as he has been on the move for the past several seasons. Last year, the veteran forward was having a better season before the deadline than he is now, and he fetched an AHLer and a third-round draft pick.