Avs sign Svatos, avoid arbitration | VailDaily.com

Avs sign Svatos, avoid arbitration

Aaron J. LopezRocky Mountain NewsVail, CO Colorado

DENVER, Colorado As Joe Sakic ponders his future, the Avalanche has put itself in position to accommodate its captain for another encore.After signing free-agent forward Marek Svatos to a two-year, $4.1 million contract Friday, the Avs are about $8.2 million under the salary cap, leaving plenty of room to add Sakic should he decide to return for a 20th NHL season.Sakic said earlier this month he would make a decision before training camp starts in September.Theres nothing new on that front, his agent Don Baizley said Friday.The Avs, meanwhile, were scheduled to go to arbitration with Svatos on Friday before reaching an agreement that will pay the 26-year-old $1.75 million this season and $2.35 million in 2009-10.Marek Svatos has been a key ingredient to our success the last few years, Avalanche vice president and general manager Francois Giguere said in a statement. Hes scored many big goals for this club and we expect him to be a strong force for us again this season.With 73 goals in the past three years, Svatos has proved he can score, but staying healthy has been a challenge.He was leading the team with 26 goals in 2007-08 before suffering a season-ending knee injury. He tied for the team lead with 32 goals as a rookie in 2005-06 despite missing the seasons final 20 games because of a shoulder injury.The Avalanche now has 27 players on its roster, including at least five with two-way contracts, meaning their salaries would not count against the NHLs $56.7 million cap if they are playing in the minors.Subscribe to the Rocky Mountain NewsPost your commentRegistration is required. Click here to create your free user account, or login below.Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. 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