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Friday, June 30, 2006
Avs re-sign potential free agents Clark, Skrastins

Associated Press

DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche re-signed defensemen Brett Clark and Karlis Skrastins to multiyear contracts on Friday but star Rob Blake remained without a contract on the eve of free agency.

The Avs' top priorities entering the offseason were resigning captain Joe Sakic and defenseman Blake. Sakic signed a one-year deal last week and Colorado also traded left wing Alex Tanguay to Calgary on draft day for defenseman Jordan Leopold and two draft picks.

Forwards Dan Hinote and Jim Dowd also are unrestricted free agents who haven't signed.

Clark, 29, posted career highs with nine goals and 27 assists in 80 games.

Skrastins has played in 433 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NHL and the second-longest by a defenseman in hockey history -- 53 behind Tim Horton's record.

The 31-year-old native of Latvia had three goals and 11 assists, his second best offensive season in the NHL. He blocked 207 shots, the second-best total in the league. He joined former Avalanche defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh on the Latvian Olympic team at this year's Turin Games.

"Brett and Karlis had very strong seasons for this club last year," general manager Francois Giguere said. "Their dependability and individual skills were coveted by many teams. The long-term commitment they've made will add stability and depth to our blue line for the coming years."