Originally written on JibbleScribbits  |  Last updated 4/7/12
B0
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

Martavis Bryant reportedly failed multiple marijuana tests

Mortensen: Krafts called me to apologize amid Deflategate drama

Packers smart to sit Aaron Rodgers for rest of preseason

Is Rich Paul steering Tristan Thompson towards Toronto?

Kyrie Irving might not suit up for Cavaliers until January

Report: Martavis Bryant suspended four games for violating substance abuse policy

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Phillies have finally escaped from payroll hell

Report: Paul Petrino took care of players' shoplifting incident

Joe Theismann on RG3: ‘It’s time for Robert to be quiet’

Rex Ryan will start E.J. Manuel in Bills’ third preseason game

Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal dish about old Lakers feud

Jones was worried about Bryant over alleged Walmart tape

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

Packers smart to sit Rodgers for rest of preseason

Towns is perfect for today's NBA

The Opening Drive: Utah alum Jordan Gross is fed up with the HarBros

Five greatest NBAers without a ring

Exactly how bad is the NL East?

Five potential college football Week 1 shockers

Top 10 storylines for Week 3 of the NFL preseason

Wilson’s ‘Recovery Water’ plug sends the wrong message

The 12 most relevant teams in CFB

PAC-12 preview: Can dark horse ASU take on USC?

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