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Associated Press
7/12/2006 5:33:15 PM

Colorado Avalanche defenceman John-Michael Liles avoided salary arbitration after agreeing to a $2.65-million, two-year contract on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old U.S. Olympian set career highs with 14 goals and 35 assists last season while earning $450,000.

''John-Michael Liles is one of the top young offensive defensemen in the league,'' new Avalanche GM Francois Giguere said in a statement. ''He has been a key contributor to our blue-line in his first two seasons and is a very skilled defenceman who will continue to help our power play.''
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