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Avs sign Kariya, Selanne
The Colorado Avalanche have scheduled a major press conference at the Pepsi Center 3:00pm EST to announced the signing of unrestricted free agents Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne.
On Monday, Anaheim declined to decided not to make a qualifiying offer to Kariya, their star captain, making the speedy forward an unrestricted free agent.
"This was very difficult for me," Ducks general manager Bryan Murray said Monday night on a conference call. "Paul is a great guy and a great player."
Kariya, 28, has played with the Ducks his entire NHL career. He led the team with 81 points (25-56) in 82 games this season. He was was taken by Anaheim with the fourth pick of the 1993 NHL entry draft.
"Financially some things have to make sense in our business," Murray added. "I know our company, I know our budget, I know the amount of money it costs to operate this hockey team. We have to get our players' contracts in order."
Kariya made $10-million (U.S.) last year.
Selanne, the San Jose Sharks' leading scorer, became a free agent in late April when he declined a player option for next season.
Selanne scored 28 goals and had 64 points this season, leading the Sharks in both categories while noticeably improving his two-way game and physical play.
When Selanne re-signed with the Sharks before last season, he agreed to a one-year deal for $6.5-million (U.S.), with an option for the second year. At the time, Selanne said he considered the option year nearly automatic -- but then the Sharks slumped to 14th place in the Western Conference, missing the playoffs for the first time in six seasons.