Perhaps he explored the restricted free agency market. Perhaps he was planning to return to the Avalanche the entire time. Either way, Marek Svatos has, as expected, signed with the Avs. It's a 1-year deal for $1,200,000 (a small raise from the previous season's $1.05 million contract).
The Avs have added almost $12 million in salary this week...and still look to be about $6 million under the cap. I'm not 100% sure they are done adding players at this point.