Joe Sakic never got a final send-off from Avalanche fans during a game at the Pepsi Center. Neither did Peter Forsberg. Milan Hejduk might not get that either.
Hejduk, the longest-serving active player on the Avs, remains out indefinitely with a shoulder injury. With only 11 games left in the regular season, time is growing short for Hejduk to play in front of Avs fans again.
This, of course, assumes that Hej duk will retire after this season. That may not happen. But if I had to bet, I'd say this will, in fact, be Hejduk's final go-round.
Hejduk, 37, has hinted this season will be it for him. He could change his mind, and here's hoping he might. But I doubt it. Age is the great equalizer, and Hejduk has suffered his share of injuries in recent years. Along with the shoulder, he has had serious knee injuries and a troublesome back.
I thought he played very well to start this season, even looking quicker than he did last year. But he scored only twice in 15 games before the shoulder injury, and he has always seemed ill-suited to a third- or fourth-line role. He still has good hands, though, and who's to say he can't still have something of a career rebirth? Heck, guys like Teemu Selanne, Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney — all older than 40 — have proved old guys can still compete in this league.