Avs re-sign penalty kill ace Cliche to two-year deal

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Colorado has re-upped with checking forward Marc-Andre Cliche on a two-year deal, the club announced on Thursday.

Cliche, 26, is enjoying a career year with the Avs, recording highs in every statistical category while emerging as a valuable member of the team’s 16th-ranked penalty kill.

“Marc-Andre has been a solid addition to our hockey club,” Avs VP Joe Sakic said in a statement. “He has done a tremendous job on the penalty kill, has a great work ethic, and we’re excited to have him under contract for the next two years.”

The 56th overall pick at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Cliche is a late bloomer — he only appeared in one NHL contest prior to this season (with the Kings in 2009-10) and spent a long time toiling in AHL Manchester before getting picked up on waivers by the Avs during training camp.

He proceeded to impress, make the team and now leads all Colorado forwards in shorthanded time on ice, with 2:35 per game.