Canucks re-sign Ohlund to four-year deal

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The Vancouver Canucks avoided salary arbitration with Swedish defenseman Mattias Ohlund by re-signing him to a four-year contract Wednesday.

Ohlund had 14 goals and 20 assists in 82 games during 2003-04, the last NHL season before the lockout. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound defenseman averages more than 25 minutes of ice time, anchoring the penalty kill, playing the power play and matching up regularly against the opposition's top forward lines.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

"He has proven himself to be one of the premier defensemen in this league," Canucks general manager Dave Nonis said. "Mattias' leadership and on-ice stability are a huge boost for our hockey club."

Ohlund, who turns 29 next month, could have become an unrestricted free agent next summer if he had played out a one-year arbitration settlement. Ohlund and the Canucks had a salary arbitration hearing later this week.

Drafted 13th overall in the 1994 entry draft by the Canucks, Ohlund has 54 goals and 212 points in 480 games over seven NHL seasons.