Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Milan Hejduk Tells Czech Newpaper He's Retired

Milan Hejduk tells the Czech newspaper Blesk that he is for all intents and purposes retired. The former 50-goal scorer, Stanley Cup winner and fourth-leading all-time scorer for the Colorado Avalanche/ Quebec Nordiques franchise, told Blesk that he wanted to hang it up officially after the 2012-2013 season, but his agent encouraged him to test the market.
"I wanted to quit after the end of last season," he said. "But my agent told me not to be crazy, that maybe some interesting offer would show up. But I realized I did not want to move somewhere else."
Hejduk scored 23 points in 23 games during the 2001 Stanley Cup playoffs, helping the Avalanche to win it all. He spent all of his 14 NHL seasons with the Avs, scoring 375 goals and 805 points. Avs beat writer Adrian Dater says the Hejduk, now 37, deserves a spot in the rafters at the Pepsi Center:
I’m sure the Avs will, at the least, hold a special night for him at some point. Will he get his No. 23 retired? I don’t know for sure, but I would bet he will. And I think he would deserve that. He scored 375 goals and 805 points in 1,020 games, all with the Avs. He scored 20 or more goals in 11 straight seasons. He led the NHL in goals one season (2002-03, with 50) and won a Stanley Cup. He deserves to be in the Avs’ raftered pantheon.
Hejduk still lives in Denver, coaches his two sons in youth hockey, and is looking forward to having a nice ski season this winter.
"In normal life my knees are fine," he said. "That is the other reason why I quit. I did not want to ruin my health. In the recent years I have taken painkillers all the time, which was not ideal. There is life after hockey too. For example, I want to do some skiing. The (skiing) season here is starting just now."