The rafters inside Denver's Pepsi Center display a who's who of hockey greats: Patrick Roy. Ray Bourque. Peter Forsberg. Joe Sakic. Adam Foote. Milan Hejduk is about to join their company. The Avalanche on Wednesday announced they'll retire Hejduk's No. 23 this season during a pregame ceremony Jan. 16 with the Wild in town, honoring one of the more understated players from the franchise's hallowed teams of the 1990s and 2000s. While it may appear one name is not like the others, Hejduk quietly ranks second in franchise history in games played (1,020) spanning 14 seasons in Colorado. His 375 goals are fourth most behind Sakic, now the Avs' general manager, Michel Goulet and Peter Stastny. In 2002-03, Hejduk led the NHL with 50 goals. “Milan was a tremendous player, a great teammate, a winner and a true professional in every sense,” said Sakic, who played with Hejduk from 1998-2009. “He had some of the quickest and smoothest hands of anyone I ever played with, was an elusive skater, had a great release, terrific hockey sense and vision. Milan was not only one of the great goal scorers in the history of the franchise, but also one of the best in the NHL for over a decade.
Milan Hejduk to join ranks of Avalanche greats to have number retired
Sporting News | Sep 13