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The Free Agency Countdown Begins

The Avs got the free agency period going (which officially begins tomorrow morning but some have gotten a jump on it) by taking two defensemen off the market.  John-Michael Liles and Adam Foote both signed multi-year contracts over the weekend, according to TSN

UPDATE: Both signings are now official.  Foote for two years, Liles for four.

As for Joe Sakic, Terry Frei got back from his vacation in time to post another scare piece about everyone being unsure as to what Sakic's going to do.  I'd argue that Liles and Foote allegedly taking discounted salaries is a pretty good indication that Sakic will return, and that the Avalanche are going to make a move at one or two free agents and then finish a deal with the Captain. 

Or he'll retire.  Either way, the fact that he hasn't made an announcement yet is only panicking the press, not the team, I guarantee it.

Adrian Dater suggests that Andrew Brunette may be returning to Minnesota for another chance to break all of our hearts as a member of the Wild.  Of course, no contract has been signed and nothing has been announced, but Dater seems confident enough in the rumor that he titled his post "Bruno back to Wild."  I guess it's a done deal, then, right?  Right?

I'll do my best to keep the reports on new contracts and departing players as up-to-the-minute as possible today and tomorrow.  Strap yourself in.