After 1,020 regular season and 112 playoff games with the Colorado Avalanche, Milan Hejduk’s time with the only NHL team he’s ever known is over. If he has his way, that doesn’t mean his NHL career is over, too.
The veteran winger’s agent Jiri Crha told the Denver Post that he hopes to land with a different team for the 2013-14 season.
“He wants to keep playing,” Crha said. “If there is any team that really wants to use him for his offensive skills, he still believes he could do it.”
Crha claims that the 37-year-old is “feeling very good health-wise again” and “still valuable.”
There’s little doubt that times have been tough for Hejduk lately.
After scoring 20+ goals in 11 straight seasons, the Czech-born forward was limited to 14 goals and 37 points in 2011-12 and 11 points in 29 games last season.
One might assume that some team would be glad to give him a bargain deal, but Hejduk’s agent says he wants more than a minimum contract.
“He’s not going to take some (minimum) salary,” Crha said. “It could be a contract with bonuses or something like that, if he achieved them then it’s fair to both sides. But we’ll see, as I said there is no rush.”
Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.
Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.
This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.
“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”
While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”
And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.
Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.
In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.
Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks
A statement from Raffi Torres:
“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”
A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:
“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”
Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.