'Clooch' is the man

BOB MACKIN -- 24 Hours Vancouver

, Last Updated: 7:47 AM ET

"Clooch" is clinched.

Goaltender Dan Cloutier signed a new two-year contract yesterday with the Vancouver Canucks.

"You don't find a more competitive person in this league than Dan Cloutier," said general manager Dave Nonis. "A lot of that fire he has rubs off on the rest of the team."

The 29-year-old was 33-21-6 with five shutouts and a career-best 2.27 goals against average in 2003-2004. He's the only Canuck goalie with more than 30 wins in three straight seasons. He spent the lockout-cancelled 2004-2005 season with Austria's Klagenfurter.

"I wanted to stay here," Cloutier said. "I feel like we're getting very close to something special here and I wanted to be part of it."

Cloutier, 101-65-23 all-time with Vancouver, is a native of Mont-Laurier, Quebec. He was drafted in 1994 by the New York Rangers and acquired by Vancouver from the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 2001 trade for Adrian Aucoin.

Cloutier's regular season statistics are impressive, but not his playoff performances. He's 10-13 in post-season play and has backstopped the Canucks to just one series victory. He suffered an ankle injury against the Calgary Flames in the opening round of 2004's Stanley Cup playoffs and did not finish the series.

"Goaltenders come into their own at this age," Nonis said.

Canucks, meanwhile, could finally announce training camp plans today. It's expected some sessions will happen at GM Place and will be open to season ticket holders and the public.


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