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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: At least four teams looking to trade out of top 10

Patrick Beverley fined $25K for altercation with fan

Bill Parcells on Tony Romo: ‘I was glad he retired’

Report: Garoppolo remains 'long shot' to be traded

Report: Packers coaches upset with GM Ted Thompson

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rondo fined $25K for attempting to trip Crowder

Logan Morrison curses out umpire CB Bucknor mid at-bat

Raptors jab Bucks on Twitter after Game 4 victory

Report: NBA GMs not hesitant to draft Lonzo Ball due to father LaVar

DeShone Kizer changes course, stands by Tom Brady-Cam Newton quote

Nick Saban doesn't offer much praise of team for 'adequate' spring game

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Best of Yardbarker: David Fizdale and the Grizzlies won't go down quietly

Three Up, Three Down: Home run hitters are heating up

The 'Even the Browns can't mess this one up' quiz

25 times Mother Nature disrupted sports

In some ways, Dan Rooney was just another NFL owner

Box Score 4/20: When Westbrook isn't enough

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The '♫Happy Birthday Simpsons. Simpsons, it's your birthday♫' quiz

White House championship visits over the years

Biggest needs in the draft for every NFL team

The 'Baseball has been very, very good to its players' quiz

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Home run hitters are heating up

The 'Even the Browns can't mess this one up' quiz

In some ways, Dan Rooney was just another NFL owner

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The '♫Happy Birthday Simpsons. Simpsons, it's your birthday♫' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: David Fizdale calls B.S.

Kris Bryant can become the next Derek Jeter — and more

The 'Baseball has been very, very good to its players' quiz

NHL youth movement: How the 2016-17 rookie class fared

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker