Tag: Milan Hejduk

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.

Milan Hejduk hopes to catch on with new team


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.”

Hejduk will play Saturday, might be his last NHL game

Milan Hejduk

37-year-old forward Milan Hejduk will not play Friday as the 29th place Colorado Avalanche focus on giving their younger players an opportunity to show what they can do. However, Hejduk will participate in the season finale on Saturday, according to the Denver Post.

Although Hejduk hasn’t made it official, there’s a very good chance that it will be his final NHL game. Hejduk, who missed some time with shoulder and torso injuries, averaged just 13:01 minutes of playing time per contest in 28 games this season.

Hejduk has declined in recent years, but in his prime he was an elite player. He reached or surpassed the 70-point mark in five separate seasons and scored a career-high 50 goals in 2002-03. He also played a major role in the Colorado Avalanche winning the Stanley Cup in 2001.

He played all of his 1,019 NHL games with the Avalanche and ranks fourth on the franchise leaderboard with 805 points.

PHT Morning Skate: Looking awkward


PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Puck Daddy runs an interesting experiment: which newly traded players look the most (and least) awkward in their new uniforms? Jay Bouwmeester as No. 19 … yeah, that’s pretty weird. (Puck Daddy)

How exactly do you end up having five empty-net goals in one game? Find out how it happened about 43 years ago. (Greatest Hockey Legends)

Mike Smith hopes he’ll eventually re-sign with the Phoenix Coyotes, who obviously have some pretty big fish to fry. (Arizona Republic)

It remains to be seen how much more of this team he sees, but Joe Nieuwendyk has a “good feeling” about the post-deadline Dallas Stars so far. (Dallas Morning News)

Some aren’t on board with the Toronto Maple Leafs’ collective fear of the word “concussion.” (Pension Plan Puppets)

If last night’s 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings didn’t put enough of a damper on things for the Edmonton Oilers … (Copper & Blue)

Adrian Dater wonders if this is Milan Hejduk’s last NHL season. (Denver Post)

Probably not shocking to hear, but the Anaheim Ducks miss banged-up captain Ryan Getzlaf’s presence in the lineup. (Los Angeles Times)

Avs GM Sherman ‘believes in the foundation’ of last-place club


What could’ve been a busy deadline day for the Colorado Avalanche — the NHL’s last-place team — ended up being a quiet one, with only veteran blueliner Ryan O’Byrne getting shipped out of town.

And according to Avs GM Greg Sherman, that was by design.

“I believe in this hockey team and I believe in the foundation that we have here,” Sherman told the Denver Post. “We all believe in it, from our entire operation on down.”

Despite Sherman’s outlook, many thought the Avs might blow it up heading into Wednesday’s deadline.

The only players with no-movement clauses were veterans Milan Hejduk and JS Giguere, and there was buzz around the likes of pending UFA Chuck Kobasew (though he’s currently dealing with back stiffness), defenseman Erik Johnson and the team’s highest-paid player, Paul Stastny.

But Sherman didn’t deal.

Though that’s not to say he didn’t field inquiries.

“There were several calls that I received regarding players on our team, but players on our roster that I believe in and our organization believes in,” he explained. “We did get inquiries throughout the day, and it shows what we have in place here. We have a very good young core.

“The foundation is very solid, and on days like today you get affirmation of that.”

The Avs do have some good talent. On paper, they should be in decent shape heading into next season.

If the organization calls a mulligan on this year and starts fresh, it’ll have great depth at center (Stastny, Ryan O’Reilly, Matt Duchene) and a full compliment of wingers once Steve Downie comes back from a torn ACL.

Semyon Varlamov has been solid in net, and reigning Calder Trophy winner (and team captain) Gabriel Landeskog is still only 20 years old.

Also, the club already has 20 players under contract next season for $54 million, $10 million shy of the cap ceiling. Sherman could look to upgrade his defense via free agency — which has been an issue this season — or acquire someone via trade, with the flexibility to take on salary.

All of this, of course, is contingent upon folks buying what Sherman is selling.

Avs fans have been angry at the club’s direction over the last few years (related: the Avs sit 26th in the NHL in attendance) and to hear a GM say he’s sticking with the core of a last-place club?

Yeah, that might not go over so well.