Bye Rory, hello Aaron

BOB MACKIN, 24 HOURS

, Last Updated: 8:08 AM ET

Vancouver Canucks voted against signing Rory yesterday.

Defenceman Rory Fitzpatrick, a 32-year-old Rochester, N.Y. native, scored once and added six helpers in 58 regular season games before dressing three times in the playoffs.

Fitzpatrick's season in Vancouver will be remembered for a grassroots campaign to elect him to the Western conference all-star team. It went out of control when Vancouver web developer Brad Touesnard figured out how to bombard the NHL site with votes for Rory, who finished behind Anaheim Duck Scott Niedermayer and Detroit Red Wing Nicklas Lidstrom with 486,842 votes.

"Rory did a wonderful job for us, very professional, a great team guy," said Canucks' assistant general manager Steve Tambellini. "But when we found out we had a chance to acquire Aaron Miller we were aggressive at it and went after it."

Miller, 35, comes for a one-year deal after splitting the last dozen years with the Colorado Avalanche and the Los Angeles Kings. The 1989 New York Rangers' draftee played a full 82-game season for the first time with L.A. in 2006-2007.

"Aaron Miller brings such a level of experience and strength," Tambellini said.

Meanwhile, Kevin Bieksa agreed to a three-year extension worth $11.25 million US, beginning in 2008-2009.

The 26-year-old had a dozen goals and 30 assists and was arguably the club's best blueliner last season.

"He was willing to forgo his free agency year and commit to the Canucks long term," Tambellini said.


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