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Report: Milan Hejduk to announce retirement

Nov 13, 2013, 9:12 AM EDT

Milan Hejduk Getty Images

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.

  1. alicesrightfootesq - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    All class. Great player and an even better person.

    • polegojim - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:35 AM

      Yes – very class act.

    • ntvd7 - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:36 AM

      Agreed

      I enjoyed watching him play, congrats on a solid career

  2. mattsening - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    I love Hejduk and I’m angered how the Avalanche treated this valuable veteran. They gave the rookie Landeskog his “C” and then didnt re-sign Hejduk…. After all the time and effort Hejduk put into the Avalanche organization, it actually angers me quite a bit. I will sincerely miss Hejduk in the NHL and in the Av’s organization as well.

    • polegojim - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:45 AM

      Matt – what in hockey heaven are you talking about???

      How did the Avs mistreat him??? They treated him with honor and respect for his entire career.

      Don’t you think Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic of ALL people would have begged him to stay if he had enough in the tank???

      His production has been declining since 2008 – maybe within the top 100 or even dropped to 150-200. He didn’t have the ‘night in / night out’ legs and was a Defensive liability.

      It was time to retire… and evidently, he ageed.

    • robdog0721 - Nov 13, 2013 at 11:00 AM

      I understand why you would be angry but he basically stole money from the Av’s the last 2 years. Couldn’t stay healthy and his skill diminished greatly. He should have retired then. The Av’s were looking to the future but sadly Hejduk wasn’t doing the same. I’ll never forget the year the Av’s went to Detroit down 2-0 and won the next 4. Hejduk was the reason why.

    • jernster21 - Nov 13, 2013 at 11:50 AM

      Hejduk is the one who gave up the C, it wasn’t taken from him. He knew his role on the team was different the last year or two. He knew that the younger kids needed to take the reigns of the team and make it their own – he didn’t want to get in the way of that. If you want to blame the misuse of Hejduk on anyone you can point a finger at Sacco – he screwed up a lot of things. At the end of the day though, Roy/Sakic decided not to bring him back either and I don’t blame them for that. I have to imagine it’s tough to be a young player on a team with a veteran guy on the backend of their career knowing that it’s coming to a close and your mentality is to “do it for Hedgy” because he’s such a stand up guy and deserves it – well, they needed to learn to do it for themselves, as a team, not for just one guy to go out with a bang.

  3. flash8910 - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    Old age…not him, me. I started following hockey in the 90’s. I remember seeing Arnott get drafted. I remember seeing the Avs add Hedjuk, Drury, and Tanguay. Now, these guys are retiring or getting close to retiring. Makes a man feel old.

    As for Hedjuk, great career. You had some great runs with the Avs. You stayed with them your whole career. I never heard anything bad about you during your career. In this day and age, you are a rarity.

  4. avfanforlife - Nov 13, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    Hedjuk could hit a dime out of your hand from center ice. He was a sniper and I hated to see him leave the team. I hope they retire his number. He deserves it more than 77 in my opinion.

  5. desertfan - Nov 13, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    Absolutely killed the Nucks during his career.

    As a VCR fan I am glad he is gone- but nevertheless a true AAA NHL star.

    Good luck Milan.

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