Avs Sign Sakic

Archived from 2000-01 season.

NHL teams

The Colorado Avalanche and captain Joe Sakic agreed on a one-year, $7.9 million, contract avoiding a scheduled arbitration hearing.

Avalanche general manager Pierre Lacroix said that he would have preferred to sign Sakic in a long term contract, but negotiations failed resulting in the last-minute agreement on a one-year deal.

"The fact we signed our captain is a big plus," Lacroix said. "Our goal was to try to get Joe under contract long-term. We had many discussions with his agent and tried in many different ways. It didn't work out. It was pretty obvious that focusing on a one-year settlement was the thing to do at the last minute like this. Both parties are pretty pleased. Now we turn the page and move on to something else."

Sakic, 31, will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2000-01 season.

Asked if he wants to try the free-agent market next summer, Sakic said, "No, not necessarily. I just wanted to have control down the line with what was going to happen with me. We talked about a long-term deal. We didn't get that, so we just focused on a one-year deal."

Sakic has played his entire NHL career with the same franchise, beginning his career with the Quebec Nordiques before that team moved to Denver in 1995.

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