When he first came to the Avalanche in 1998, Milan Hejduk barely spoke any English and everyone mispronounced his last name. Even former Avs coach Marc Crawford?, when talking about the team's top incoming prospects, pronounced his name "Hedge-duck."

Wednesday afternoon inside the visitors' dressing room at the Xcel Energy Center, Hejduk rested an elbow on a knee and held court for several minutes on the state of the team he now captains.