Originally posted on JibbleScribbits  |  Last updated 4/7/12
We don't know what Milan Hejduk's future holds, so tonight I am going to cheer like hell for Milan Hejduk. In fact, I may cheer every time he touches the puck, just to give him the send off he deserves, lest he not return next season.

I also encourage everyone to check out this nice Adrian Dater feature on him in the Denver Post. 

In my opinion, it's probably ~75% chance that Hejduk doesn't return next season. There's probably a 50/50 chance he retires, and the Avs may be ready to move on without him. With the season he's had, it's hard to see where he might fit in if he does come back. He's been (rightfully) demoted to the third line and PPs by coach Joe Sacco this season.

I'm not a fan of telling players when they "should" retire. Playing professional sports is one of the best jobs in the world and one of the most difficult to obtain. The window for playing them is incredibly short. If a once elite player wants to change his role and chip in on the 4th line, that's all his business. He won't get another chance at it. If Hejduk wants to play, and he can find a team to take him, I fully support it. Red Wings not withstanding of course

Yet, if he wants to, I think Hejduk is more valuable than a number of players the Avs have signed for next season, and hope the Avs would consider bringing him back in a role more akin to the one he was at the end of the season. Against much tougher competition and similar zone starts he still has much much better possession metrics than a guy like Kobasew. His days on the top six may be over (and they may not, In a 3rd/4th liner on the 2nd PP unit he's still a valuable player. And he'd be a great mentor for a guy like Olver. In fact a thrid line of Hejduk-Olver-Mueller isn't the worst third line in the world.

In true Hejdukian form, I'm not sure he gets the respect he deserves locally. I don't think Ray Borque's banner raising should be the bar for every Avalanche player, I do think Hejduk's impact on the franchise measures up favorably to Adam Foote who will (likely) have his number raised to the rafters next season. His Avs franchise rank in vital stats are: GP (1st), Goals (2), Assists (3), Points (2), Shots (2) and GWG (1). Anywhere he isn't 1 he's trailing only Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg in assists. That's pretty damn good company. And the lead he has over #4 in all those categories is substantial.

But we can discuss appropriate honors for Hejduk post career at a later date. He's still active for maybe just one more game. For that game, at least, we can all chear like hell.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Michigan returns opening kickoff for at touchdown vs. Northwestern

WATCH: Charlie Strong showered in Gatorade after beating Oklahoma

Georgia RB Nick Chubb suffers gruesome leg injury

LSU attempts to make South Carolina feel at home during relocated game

Maryland players call Ohio State players ‘spoiled, entitled and not No. 1’

WATCH: Ole Miss WR Laquon Treadwell makes aburd one-handed TD catch


Ivo Karlovic loses but breaks another tennis record

Utah paying tribute to past with throwback jerseys

WATCH: Western Kentucky scores on throw by WR

WATCH: 400-pound Baylor TE makes defender miss for TD

WATCH: Braxton Miller triple-jukes Maryland defender

UCLA punter suspended indefinitely arrest in rape case

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dwight Howard, image & Houston's title chances

10 unheralded NFL players who will impact Week 5

Five potential upsets in NFL Week 5

Why the Carolina Panthers are the NFL's next super power

NHL Department of Player Safety inconsistent in disciplining players?

Explaining the silence on Thabo Sefolosha’s police brutality trial

Six biggest matchups in Week 6 of CFB

Joe Maddon's defensive calculus

Sepp Blatter appeals FIFA suspension

Looking at four NHL goaltenders who debuted for new teams

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker