Saturday night, the Colorado Avalanche retired Milan Hejduk‘s jersey completing one of the greatest lines in hockey history. He joins Joe Sakic (19), Peter Forsberg (21), Patrick Roy (33), Adam Foote (52), and Ray Bourque (77) who have their numbers in the rafters. Whether you agree with Bourque having his jersey retired or not there is no arguing that Hejduk is joining some real legends of the game.
The Colorado Avalanche held a jersey raising ceremony before the team played the Minnesota Wild that night. He was surprised during the ceremony as Peter Forsberg and Alex Tanguay brought out the Stanley Cup they won together in 2001. The “Rocket Richard” Trophy was also brought out. There was one last surprise. The youth hockey team he coaches along with his two sons Marek and David helped skate his banner onto the ice to be raised.
Milan Hejduk‘s Jersey Retired By The Colorado Avalanche
Milan Hejduk was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche 87th overall in the 4th round of the 1994 NHL Draft. He made his NHL debut in 1998. Milan Hejduk is the only player with his jersey retired that played his entire career with the Colorado Avalanche, having played 1,020 games and serving as team captain from 2011 to 2013. To be fair Joe Sakic spent his entire career with the franchise, but started in Quebec City. Hejduk retired in 2013 and scored 805 points with 375 goals and 430 assists.
Along with his great stats, he won the Stanley Cup in 2001 and the “Rocket Richard” Trophy for scoring the most goals in the league in the 2002-2003 season. He was also a three-time All-Star. In 1998, he helped the Czech Republic win its first Olympic Gold Medal in Men’s hockey. Hejduk was also inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. He sits at sixth among all Czech born players in points.
Milan Hejduk was not only an amazing player but he is an amazing human. He is giving back to to the game through his youth coaching. Hejduk is also a great ambassador for the franchise, even after retirement. He is an Honorary Board Member for Dawg Nation. This is a non-profit organization helping people and families in need throughout the hockey community. Hedjuk also does various other charity events and guest appearances to help kids.
Milan Hejduk achieved a lot in life and hockey. All there is to do is wait to see if he will inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Embed from Getty Images