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"For sure, I was worrying, and a bunch of us were worrying about what was going to happen because we know we're a much better team when he's in the lineup. Now that he made the right decision, everybody's pumped. We know how much better we are when Joe's in."
The Avs' approach had its risks, such as payroll uncertainty entering free agency, but it also had its rewards.
"Patience is the answer," Baizley said. "If you insist on a quick answer, you're probably going to get the answer you don't want. If you insist on an answer now, it might be no. If you give me more time, it might be yes."
As an unrestricted free agent, Sakic could have fielded offers from other teams but told his agent he would play for the Avalanche next season or not at all.
"Teams asked if they could at least submit an offer for consideration and Joe told me to advise teams not to bother," Baizley said.
Baizley also represents Peter Forsberg, who returned to the Avalanche last season but continued to be bothered by foot problems that had him in and out of the lineup. Forsberg has been skating in Sweden but hasn't made enough progress, Baizley said.
"Peter would like to play if his health will permit him. Right now he's working on his health issues related to his foot and there's nothing new on that," Baizley said. "It hasn't progressed to the point where we're in serious discussions with the team."
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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