The Colorado Avalanche have ensured two of their best defencemen won't depart as free agents, officially announcing Monday the signings of John-Michael Liles and Adam Foote.
Liles led the Avalanche with 32 points in 81 games, his fourth season in the NHL, and was highly coveted by several clubs for Tuesday's free agent kickoff.
Liles, 27, agreed to a four-year deal. The Indianapolis, Ind., native has recorded 44 goals and 115 assists in 313 career regular season games and also represented the United States at the 2006 Olympics.
"John is entering the prime years of his career," Avalanche general manager Francois Giguere said in a statement. "His puck movement and skating abilities will allow him to support our offence and complement the rest of our defence corps."
Foote, who turns 37 in July, returned to Colorado at the trade deadline after spending three seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Foote won two Stanley Cups with the Avalanche in his first tenure with the organization, which lasted 13 years.
Foote has scored 65 goals and 219 assists in 998 career regular season games. The Toronto native was also a member of Canada's Olympic teams in 2002 and 2006.
"He has been an important leader for this franchise for many years and we’re counting on him to play the same role over the next two seasons," said Giguere.
The deals were first rumoured late Sunday. Financial terms were not disclosed by the club.
Colorado, which finished 12th in goals against last season, is still without agreements with defenceman Jeff Finger and goaltender Jose Theodore.
Up front, Joe Sakic is said to be mulling over the possibility of retirement while Andrew Brunette will likely test the free agent waters.