Avs reportedly decline options for Sakic, Blake

Updated: October 20, 2005, 5:48 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

After losing Peter Forsberg and Adam Foote to free agency this past offseason, the Colorado Avalanche might look even more different after this season.

According to a report from The Denver Post, the team has declined to pick up next season's options for Joe Sakic and Rob Blake, a move that is meant to free up cap space and could make each player unrestricted free agents.

Sakic and Blake each signed five-year deals with the Avalanche in 2001 with a team option for a sixth season. By declining their options, The Post reports that the Avs save roughly $700,000 in cap space for this season because team payroll numbers are based on combined averages of a player's length of contract.

The pair will be eligible to become unrestricted free agents come July 1 based on their age and time of service. They could sign extensions to stay with the team before that deadline.

The Avs told The Post that Sakic and Blake are aware of their decision and were "OK with it."