DENVER (AP) -The Colorado Avalanche signed forward Marek Svatos to a two-year contract, avoiding an arbitration hearing Friday.
Svatos scored 26 goals last season despite missing the final 16 games with a torn knee ligament. He tied Wojtek Wolski for the club lead with six game-winning goals.
Svatos' 32 goals in 2005-06 were third among rookies behind Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby. Among those goals, which tied Joe Sakic for the team lead, were nine game-winners, tying an NHL rookie record set by Steve Larmer in 1982-83.
``Marek Svatos has been a key ingredient to our success the last few years,'' Avalanche general manager Francois Giguere said. ``He's scored many big goals for this club and we expect him to be a strong force for us again this season.''

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