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DENVER, Colorado (Ticker) - The Colorado Avalanche retained a pair of key role players Tuesday, picking up the option on left wing Antti Laaksonen's deal for the 2006-07 season and signing defenseman Ossi Vaananen to a one-year contract.

"Both of these players had a strong season and were two of the many reasons why this club was successful in a very competitive division and conference," Avalanche general manager Francois Giguere said. "We look forward to solid performances from both of them again this upcoming year."

Laaksonen, 32, established career highs with 18 assists and 34 points. He tied his personal best with 16 goals, appearing in 81 of Colorado's 82 regular-season games. In nine playoff contests, he collected a pair of assists and posted a minus-3 rating.

The 25-year-old Vaananen played in 53 games before suffering a broken leg on February 2 that ended his regular season. At the time of his injury, he had registered four assists and led the Avalanche with a plus-10 rating.

Vaananen returned for Colorado's final playoff game, recording a shot on goal in the season-ending 4-1 loss to Anaheim in Game Four of the Western Conference semifinals.
 
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