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Colorado Avalanche ink defenseman Nate Guenin to a 2-year extension

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The Colorado Avalanche announced Tuesday that they had signed defenseman Nate Guenin to a two-year contract extension. The deal will carry an average annual cap hit of $800,000.

Guenin currently leads the Avalanche in both blocked shots (86) and average shorthanded ice-time (2:57 per contest).

“Nate has been very consistent during the first half of the season,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Sakic. “He has been a reliable member of our defense and we are pleased to have him under contract for the next couple of years.”

The 31-year-old Guenin joined the Avalanche last summer on a one-year two-way contract. A veteran of 441 AHL games, he was expected to begin the year with the Lake Erie Monsters; but played his way on the the Avs with a strong training camp.

Originally selected by the New York Rangers in the fourth round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft; Guenin had only played in 32 NHL contests coming in to this season. He has played in 38 of Colorado’s 42 games so far for the Avs this season, registering four points and 14 penalty minutes.

“I'm just real happy and thankful to this organization for giving me a chance," said Guenin.