The Colorado Avalanche has announced the signing of All-Star right wing Milan Hejduk
to a long-term, five-year deal.
"We are extremely excited to announce that Milan Hejduk has decided to commit to this franchise for the next five seasons," said Colorado Avalanche President and General Manager Pierre Lacroix. "Since his rookie season in 1998-99, he has been an instrumental part of the success of this franchise. At 29, he is in the prime of his career and we strongly believe he will be a strong contributor to our Club and Milan will thrive in this new NHL landscape.
"We feel fortunate to have him on board and know our fans will be thrilled to see him perform at Pepsi Center for a long time to come."
The 5' 11", 185-pound native of Usti-nad-Labem, Czech Republic was initially the franchise's sixth selection (87th overall) in the 1994 Entry Draft. Success is common to Hejduk, having been named to the NHL All-Rookie Team in 1999, the NHL Second All-Star Team in 2003, and making NHL All-Star Game appearances in 2000 and 2001. He was the winner of the NHL's Plus/Minus Award in 2003 and won the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the top goal scorer in the League the same year. Internationally, Hejduk has represented the Czech Republic at the Olympics in 1998 (gold medal) and 2002, as well as at the World Cup of Hockey in 2004.
Said Hejduk: "I wanted to keep playing in Denver for a long time. There's no better place to play hockey than in Colorado, where our fans have been so supportive. We always have a chance to win every night. I'm looking forward to the upcoming season and this new NHL era."
Hejduk has eclipsed the 30-goal barrier four times in his six-year NHL career, scoring 36 in 1999-00, 41 in 2000-01, 35 in 2003-04, and a League-leading 50 in 2002-03. In the 2001 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Hejduk led all NHL scorers with 16 assists in 23 games, helping the Colorado Avalanche to its second Stanley Cup Championship. In 2004-05, he collected 25 goals and 26 assists for 51 points with 48 games with Pardubice HC in the Czech Elite League.