While the Avalanche have their minds focused on scouting for the NHL Draft at the end of June where they’ll have the second overall pick, they took care of a little inside business to help prepare for next seasons.
Colorado signed lifetime Avalanche forward Milan Hejduk to a one-year contract to stay with the team next season. Adrian Dater of The Denver Post reports that the deal is worth $2.6 million with a chance to be worth up to $3 million with incentives.
Hejduk’s been a solid and underrated goal scorer throughout his career in Denver with the Avs. Hejduk has scored 20 or more goals every season he’s been in the NHL aside from his rookie season. Over his 12 year career he’s scored 357 goals and added 400 assists while being part of their Stanley Cup winning team back in 2001. Last season, Hejduk put home 22 goals while also putting up a career low plus/minus rating of -23.
Hejduk gets the joy of playing alongside either Matt Duchene or Paul Stastny and while things have been down of late for the Avalanche, he provides a constant offensive ability when he’s on the ice. At 35 he’s not the 40 goal threat he was when he was younger, but he’s still one of the best they’ve got in Denver. With a one year contract it also makes good business sense for the Avs because those contracts to players 35 or older come with a risk. The Avs offense needs to keep the goals flowing, however, and Hejduk knows best how to do that.
Video: Devils honor Martin Brodeur, retire his No. 30
Kyle Turris was far from an accomplished NHLer when he requested a trade out of the Coyotes organization. In fact, when he was dealt to the Senators in 2011, the third overall pick in the 2007 draft had just 46 points in 137 NHL games.
Since then, Turris has emerged as Ottawa’s top center, with the promise of a big payday in the summer of 2018 when his current $17.5 million deal expires and he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
It’s for that very reason that he can understand Jonathan Drouin‘s position with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“It’s tough,” Turris told the Tampa Bay Times. “Everyone has mixed feelings, and especially not being an established player. Then people are doubting that you’re doing the right thing, you really have to have confidence in yourself and your ability to do it.”
Though Turris, now 26, took a “lot of heat from the media…and people within the organization” and recalls the time after his trade request was made public as a “tough, tough go,” he believes the opportunity he received with the Sens “saved” him.
As we’ve written in the past, you don’t have to agree with how Drouin is handling things — maybe it ends up hurting him; he still has a lot to prove — but there have been young players who have chosen similar paths, and it’s worked out well for them.
Drouin, by the way, has 40 points in 89 NHL games.