Milan Hejduk

Report: Milan Hejduk to announce retirement


Milan Hejduk didn’t sign with anyone to play this season, and now it appears there’s a good reason for that.

According to a report from iSport (link in Czech) in the Czech Republic, Hejduk says he’s decided to retire from hockey and a formal announcement is coming soon.

Hejduk played 14 seasons in the NHL, all with the Colorado Avalanche. He was a key member of their 2001 Stanley Cup-winning team and was the Rocket Richard winner in 2002-03 when he led the league with 50 goals. He also was part of the gold medal-winning Czech Republic team in 1998.

Through his NHL career, Hejduk had 375 goals and 805 points in 1,020 career games. In the postseason he was a major player as well piling up 76 points in 112 career playoff games.

Those may not be Hall of Fame-like numbers, but he’ll be remembered as being one of the Avalanche’s most consistent scorers spanning two eras with that franchise. He started his time there playing alongside Joe Sakic and closed it out with the likes of Matt Duchene, Paul Stastny, and Gabriel Landeskog. That’ll do.

Ducks name Kesler alternate captain

Ryan Kesler
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For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”

On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.

With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.

“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”

As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.

It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.

Diaz could leave Rangers for Europe

Raphael Diaz, Mike Sislo
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Could Raphael Diaz be on his way back to Switzerland?

We’ll know in a month.

Diaz, who lost out on the Rangers’ final blueline spot in training camp, has reported to the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but doesn’t seem pleased with his current situation, per the Post:

The 29-year-old Diaz, who cleared waivers last Saturday after the Blueshirts opted to keep rookie Dylan McIlrath as the club’s seventh on the blue line, is interested in the European option if he is not in the NHL.

The Blueshirts have told Diaz they will revisit the situation at the end of October, but have not promised to release him or assign him to a European team at that point.

If Diaz, a Swiss native who represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, does play in Europe during the season, he would have to go through waivers in order to return to the NHL.

Diaz’s agent, Ritch Winter, told the Post that Diaz signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Rangers “to play with the Rangers.”

And it’s understandable if Diaz — a journeyman offensive defenseman — isn’t happy with this situation.

While some believe McIlrath earned his roster spot on merit, some think it’s because of his contract status. McIlrath, who’s only 23 and a former first-round pick, would’ve needed to clear waivers to go back to Hartford, and it’s believed he would’ve been claimed by another club.