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Avalanche blue liner Hejda: ‘I wanted to go home’

Dec 26, 2013, 6:45 PM EDT

Colorado Avalanche v Anaheim Ducks Getty Images

There was a time when Colorado Avalanche defenseman Jan Hejda contemplated quitting on the National Hockey League.

That’s according to a story in The Denver Post, which chronicled Hejda’s struggles in the Edmonton Oilers’ system during the 2006-07 season, when he first broke into the league. His time with the Oilers also included a stop in Hamilton in the American Hockey League.

Not the greatest situation for a then 27-year-old with a young family in a new country.

It was tough. I was a 27-year-old guy who’d already won a world championship with the Czech, but they were treating me like I was 19 and just a rookie,” Hejda told The Denver Post. “I’m doing bag skates in Hamilton, missing my family. I wanted to go home.”

After his troubles in the Oilers’ organization, Hejda has moved on to find success in the NHL, with the Columbus Blue Jackets and now with the Avalanche. He also played for the Czech Republic in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

In his third full season with the Avalanche, and at the age of 35, he’s averaging just over 22 minutes of ice time a game, which is second on the team behind his partner on the blue line Erik Johnson.

  1. avfanforlife - Dec 26, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    Welcome HOME Hejda. Hope you get to enjoy Denver for a long time and pick us up a Cup or two while you’re at it!

  2. spochiefsfan - Dec 27, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    Boo hoo. Complaining about being a mediocre player.

    • avfanforlife - Dec 27, 2013 at 11:47 AM

      Lame comment, but coming from Spokane, I guess that’s to be expected.

  3. mlhegs - Dec 27, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    And here we have yet another player that Kevin Lowe could not be bothered with that grew up into a valuable asset. Way to go Kevin. I hope you and all your stanley cup rings (won on the back of Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier) keep you happy at night.

    • titansbro - Dec 27, 2013 at 12:31 PM

      5 rings would keep me happy at night for sure.

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