Colorado Avalanche to Retire Milan Hejduk’s Jersey

The ‘Duke” Gets His Due.  Photo by @thevoiceofvlad

An occasion that many Avalanche fans have been eagerly anticipating is finally reality.

The Colorado Avalanche announced this morning that they will retire Milan Hejduk’s jersey number against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday, January 06.  Hejduk’s #23 will become the sixth Avalanche jersey number to be retired, joining Raymond Bourque (2001), Patrick Roy (2003), Joe Sakic (2009), Peter Forsberg (2011), and Adam Foote (2013).

Drafted in 1994 by the Quebec Nordiques, the 87th overall pick would make his debut for the Avalanche during the 1998-1999 season, scoring 14 goals and adding 34 assists for a total of 48 points in his rookie campaign.

Many Avalanche fans may recall his “swim dive” celebration after scoring the overtime game-winning goal in a contest against the Dallas Stars during the 1999-2000 season.

Hejduk won the Stanley Cup with the Avalanche during the 2000-2001 season, and was awarded the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy during the 2002-2003 season, setting a career high in goals (50), assists (48), and points (98).  He was a three-time NHL All-Star Game selection (2000, 2001, 2009) and was named the third captain in Avalanche history, succeeding Adam Foote.

The Czech Republic native played in 1020 games during his career and, behind Joe Sakic, is the second Avalanche captain to play in over 1000 games.  Hejduk is the only Avalanche captain to have reached this milestone playing his entire career with the Avalanche organization, as part of Sakic’s captaincy took place while the franchise was located in Quebec.

Hejduk retired in 2014, finishing with 375 goals and 430 assists, totaling 805 points throughout his career.

(Statistic data provided by and


8 thoughts on “Colorado Avalanche to Retire Milan Hejduk’s Jersey

  • September 13, 2017 at 12:40 PM

    About time! This should have happened on opening night of the 2013-14 season, the first since Hejduk retired. It is long overdue.

  • September 13, 2017 at 5:43 PM

    2 things:

    1) Totally deserved, The Duke rules, always and forever. So Say We All.
    2) YAY! You guys got rid of the serifs! So much happy! Starting to feel more like home…

  • September 13, 2017 at 9:33 PM

    As said above, About Darn Time. This is long overdue, and a reminder as to why (can’t remember if this is update from his last season or not):

    -Hejduk is the all-time leader for games played in an Avs uniform (not franchise). Sakic played 870 of his total 1378 in an Avs uni, Hejduk currently has 1020. Foote has 760.
    – He is second in games played for the franchise, behind only Sakic (1378), Foote has 967.
    – 4th in franchise goals with 375 (3rd is Peter Stastny with 380, 2nd Goulet 456, and 1st Sakic at 625).
    – 5th in franchise assists with 430 (6th is Anton Stastny 384, 4th Michel Goulet 489).
    – 4th in franchise points at 805 (Forsberg is 5th with 755).
    – 3rd in franchise power play goals at 140 (Goulet is 2nd with 146).
    – 2nd in franchise game winning goals with 59 (Sakic has 86).
    – 5th in franchise multi-point games with 197….2pts (149), 3pts (42), 4pts (4), 5pts (1), 6pts (1) Forsberg is 4th with 222 MPGs.
    – Only player not named Joe Sakic, Michel Goulet, or Jacques Richard to score 50 goals in a season.
    – 3rd in franchise career +/- of +52
    – Franchise leader in career regular season overtime goals at 9.
    – 23-55 in shootouts (41.8%) Game deciding goal 10 times
    – 3 for 3 on penalty shots (100%)

    – In franchise playoff history:
    – Tied for 3rd in goals (34)
    – 4th in points (76)
    – 5th in assists (42)
    – 5th in games played (112)

    Numbers as March of 2012.
    -Has 357 goals since 1999-00, fourth most in the NHL behind Jarome Iginla (445), Marian Hossa (397) and Ilya Kovalchuk (394).
    -Was the first Avalanche player to score a tying goal with four seconds or less remaining in regulation since Joe Sakic scored with one second left on Feb. 21, 1997 at Edmonton.
    -Became the all-time scoring leader at Pepsi Center (346 points) on Oct. 30, 2010 vs. Columbus, passing Joe Sakic (344).
    -Has scored more goals (186) and points (390) at Pepsi Center than any other player since the building opened in 1999..
    -Captured the franchise’s first-ever Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the NHL’s leading goal scorer in 2002-03
    -Has reached the 20-goal mark in 11 consecutive seasons, tied with Joe Sakic; only Jarome Iginla (13 including) has a longer active streak of 20-goal seasons in the NHL.
    -3 time Olympian, won Gold in 1998 and Bronze in 2006.
    -3 time All-star 2000, 2001 and 2009
    -Calder Trophy finalist and a member of the NHL All-Rookie Team in 1998-99
    -Co-winner of the 2003 Bud Light Plus/Minus Award
    -Named to the NHL’s Second All-Star Team in 2002-03…
    -In NHL history, only two Czech-born players have registered more points, Jaromir Jagr (1,653) and Patrik Elias (894)…Hejduk’s 371 goals are the second-most by a Czech-born player behind Jagr’s 665; Elias has 361.
    -Twice named NHL Player of the Week, March 31-April 6, 2003 and Jan. 19-25, 2004, and was the NHL’s First Star of the Week for Dec. 3-9, 2007.

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