Sakic, Roy and Blake Re-Sign With Avalanche

Associated Press

Joe Sakic, Patrick Roy and Rob Blake--three stars who helped Colorado win the Stanley Cup--re-signed with the Avalanche.

Avalanche General Manager Pierre Lacroix said the three signed multiyear contracts late Saturday night before the 9 p.m. PDT deadline that would have allowed them, as unrestricted free agents, to negotiate with any NHL team.

Had the deadline passed without agreement, Sakic, Roy and Blake would have been among the most attractive players in the free-agent market.

"I know this will come as great news to our fans," Lacroix said Sunday. "Joe, Patrick and Rob are three of the premier players at their respective positions in the National Hockey League, and we are thrilled that they will remain integral parts of our team."

Sakic, 31, was the NHL's most valuable player last season, and Roy, 35, was the MVP in the playoffs. All three were all-stars last season.

While financial terms on the Blake and Roy deals were unavailable, Sakic signed a five-year deal plus an option year that will pay him $50.5 million if it is a five-year deal or $57 million if the option year is picked up.

The team scheduled a news conference for today to discuss the signings.

The Avalanche failed to reach agreement with a fourth potential free agent, veteran defenseman Jon Klemm, who signed a three-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks.

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The Dallas Stars got a pretty good consolation prize, signing free agent Pierre Turgeon to a five-year contract.

Unable to land John LeClair or Jeremy Roenick, the Stars instead signed Turgeon, the leading scorer for the St. Louis Blues last season.

"I was never convinced that Pierre Turgeon was going to be available today," Star General Manager Bob Gainey said. "There were players dancing in our heads as potential players to look at. Some of those players we projected became concrete."

Until last week, the Stars planned to pursue LeClair and Roenick. LeClair decided to re-sign with the Philadelphia Flyers, the same team Roenick will join after five years at Phoenix.

The Stars also got Rob DiMaio, who signed a three-year deal to join his seventh team in a 13-year NHL career. DiMaio left Carolina after one season, signing a three-year contract with Dallas.

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Doug Weight was traded by Edmonton to the Blues in a five-player deal the Oilers made because they could not afford their all-star center.

Weight, the Oilers' top scorer for seven of the last eight seasons, and forward Michel Riesen were sent to St. Louis for winger Jochen Hecht, center Marty Reasoner and defenseman Jan Horacek.

"It was emotional last night and it continues to be as I talk to my teammates," Weight said during a conference call. "Nine years is a third of my life."

"But I don't want to stress my disappointment," he added. "I'm going to a wonderful organization."

Weight has a five-year contract with St. Louis that will pay him $9 million the first year, according to reports. His salary was $4.3 million in 2000-01.

Weight played nine seasons for the Oilers. He appeared in all 82 regular-season games last season and finished with 25 goals and 65 assists. He had a goal and five assists in six playoff games.

Hecht, a 24-year-old left wing, had 19 goals and 25 assists for the Blues last season.

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Dominik Hasek got his wish to play for a contender. The Buffalo Sabres got Vyacheslav Kozlov and were left with nine seasons worth of remarkable memories.

Facing the prospect of losing Hasek to unrestricted free agency, the Sabres dealt the six-time Vezina Trophy winner to the Detroit Red Wings late Saturday.

In exchange, the Sabres received Kozlov, an offensive left wing, a first-round pick in next year's draft and future considerations.

Detroit agreed to pay Hasek $24 million over three years.

"He felt strongly that he wanted to look at a fresh start," Sabre General Manager Darcy Regier said about Hasek. "He never came to us with any list [of demands], he was very clear, he wanted a fresh start, no conditions. . . . It was a very clean decision on his part."

Hasek and Red Wing General Manager Ken Holland scheduled a news conference for this morning.

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Goalie Garth Snow signed a two-year contract with the New York Islanders. Snow was 14-15-4 last season with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He lost his starting job to Johan Hedberg while out with a groin injury. . . . The Minnesota Wild re-signed center Darby Hendrickson, the team's captain, to a multiyear contract.

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