Marc-Andre Cliche made his NHL debut with the Los Angeles Kings in a game at Dallas on March 2, 2010, and was on the ice to celebrate Brad Richardson’s goal that put the team up 3-0 in the eventual 5-1 win.
It was the only NHL game he would play until October 4, 2013.
Cliche, who appeared in 341 games over six seasons with the Manchester Monarchs – and served as the Monarchs captain from 2010-13 – will get his first crack at the organization that acquired him along with Jason Ward, Jan Marek and future considerations in a February 5, 2007 trade that sent Sean Avery, John Seymour and future considerations to the New York Rangers.
Acquired off waivers by the Colorado Avalanche on September 22, Cliche has become a preferred depth option for coach Patrick Roy and has appeared in each of the last 14 games. With three assists and a plus-3 rating over 15 total games, Cliche has not been on the ice for any even strength goals against and has earned a regular shift on a penalty kill unit that ranks 11th in the league. He averages 8:50 of ice time per game, 2:15 of which is spent while shorthanded.
On Saturday morning, several of his former Manchester teammates expressed pride in seeing their former captain etch out his opportunity on a team that enters tonight’s game with a 16-5-0 record.
Linden Vey, on Marc-Andre Cliche:
Obviously it’s sad to see a guy go, and I played with him for a couple years and got to know him really well. Obviously it’s great he got an opportunity. I have had a chance to watch a couple of his games and he has been playing well. [It’s] good for a guy who that has worked so hard over his career. Sometimes when you get in an organization that has so much depth you don’t get your opportunity but it was good to see he got a chance somewhere and is playing well. [Reporter: He’s a heart and soul type guy, from what I understand.] Yeah he is. He was a great captain down in Manchester and a guy that would do anything for the team. He just plays a good solid game and is a good guy and it is good to see him playing well.
Tanner Pearson, on Cliche:
It will be different – I lived with him last year so we became pretty close. It will be different seeing him in a different uniform but it will be fun to see, and [there will be] probably a couple laughs on the ice, too.
Pearson, on the impact Cliche had on him:
He was the captain for me last year. I lived in the same building with him, so anything I needed I could go to his room and he could help me out, being a first year guy not knowing anything that was going on then.
Jake Muzzin, on Cliche:
Cliche is one of the best captains I’ve had. I know personally, he helped me a lot coming into pro hockey from junior. He wasn’t a big rah-rah guy but he was a guy who went out and worked his [tail] off every shift, every game. He brought a good attitude to the ice and that’s what you need as a captain, similar to Brownie as well. I am happy for him to see him over in Colorado and his success this year.
Tyler Toffoli, on Cliche:
It’s awesome. Cliche is such a good guy, and he deserves it. He works hard on the ice, games, practices, in the gym. He is always going to the gym away from the rink too. So he definitely deserves it. It is going to be fun playing against him.
Toffoli, on his relationship with Cliche:
I only played with him the one year and before last year I knew him from camps and stuff but we didn’t really hang out. But I think we are pretty good friends now and it will be pretty fun to play against him and I am really happy for him.
Toffoli, on his impression of the Avalanche:
I think they’ve got a lot of skill, they work hard, and they have really good goaltending. They have a really good team. They came into the season and had a really good start. They can score a lot of goals so you have to really tighten up.