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

Popovich praises Magic, wishes him well with Lakers

Report: Andrew Bogut likely to join Cavs after buyout

Report: Broncos expected to 'at least discuss' Romo

Report: Raiders don't expect to keep Latavius Murray

Report: Josh Hamilton needs another knee operation

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ball's father says comment about Lakers was misquoted

Revis hints he is open to taking significant pay cut

Several NBA executives have concerns about Lonzo Ball’s father

Kim Mulkey gives awful post-game speech about Baylor scandal

Bill Walton goes shirtless during ESPN broadcast to the dismay of one woman

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

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

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

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