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7/1/2006 8:28:33 PM

With Ed Jovanovski and Nolan Baumgartner leaving in free agency, the Vancouver Canucks have made a move to shore up the blueline, signing Willie Mitchell to a four-year, $14-million contract.

"We are excited to have agreed to a long-term deal with Willie today," Vancouver general manager Dave Nonis said. "Willie is a fierce competitor and is one of the top defensive defensemen in the game today."

A stay-at-home defenceman, Mitchell had ten points and a plus-19 rating with Minnesota and Dallas in 2005-2006.

Mitchell, 29, is a B.C. native from Port McNeill and has 61 points in 322 career NHL games.
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