It was just reported that the Colorado Avalanche are not picking up the 1 year option on Joe Sakic or Rob Blake’s contracts. So they will both become free agents on July 1, 2006. I heard the rumor and read the story on tsn.ca.
What does this mean? Well with the new CBA and rules teams are really strapped for cash compared to how it worked under the old CBA. Going into this season the Avs said they would honor Sakic and Blake’s contracts. This makes sense because there was one year left and an option for an additional year. Does this mean these guys are gone? Most likely no. If they agree to play for less, then the Avs could keep them around another year or two. Both players are tied for being oldest on the team at 36, so they are at the end of their careers.
I could see both playing one or two more seasons, but I don’t imagine Sakic going anywhere else since his current contract had a no trade clause. As for Blake, I doubt he really wants to go anywhere else at this point in his career. So we will just have to see what happens. I mean they could both retire in the off season.
In the end, no need to panic, this wouldn’t be any different under the old CBA. Sure the Avs might be more likely to take the options, but that’s why it is an option, gives the team an out if they don’t want the player or don’t like the terms. I would expect Sakic to sign a one year with an option and possibly see Blake do the same. If Sakic can’t get an agreement, I would expect him to retire as he has made it clear (in the past) he wants to retire with this organization.