While Avs fans are understandably nervous about whether Joe Sakic will retire or not this summer, we can't forget that 32-year old Milan Hejduk is no spring chicken, either.
In an interview on Pardubice's (his 'home' Czech club) website, Hejduk all but confirmed that he'll be retiring from the NHL after his contract with the Avalanche expires. This means it's two more seasons and out for the Czech sniper.
I talked to a Czech source of mine, and after translating the interview for me, he gave me a synopsis of Hejduk's future plans.
"He says that his health problems have limited him already for some time and that it won't get much better. Milan has an option to undergo major surgery, but would need to rehab for nearly a year after that and it isn't absolutely sure that his knee will be all right again after that. Right now he is at about 80% of his mobility. The Avs wouldn't let him to play at the World Championships because of his knee problems and he himself didn't feel like playing there exactly because of his knee.
Milan will return to Colorado on August 15th, and on 20th he will hit the ice for the first time. He hasn't been skating at all back home this summer. He still played his beloved tennis this summer, but couldn't do any jumping and his running was hampered.
Milan also says that last season was fairly successful in Colorado, but admits that the Red Wings were the better team. In the end, he says that he doesn't plan to play in the Czech Extraleague after finishing his NHL career like David Vyborny or Martin Rucinsky are doing."
So, it appears that once Milan's NHL career is over, that is it for good. Enjoy it while it lasts!