Milan Hejduk retired today, 375 NHL goals in the books and a fine career by a quality player. As an Edmonton Oiler fan, I can tell you Hejduk enjoyed scoring goals against the copper and blue (28), but enjoyed Vancouver (36) and Calgary (29) even more.
The NHL is such a huge league now I think a guy like Hejduk can be easily forgotten. Playing his entire career in the western conference, I'm not sure how much east coast fans would know him, and perhaps some wonder why such a fuss is being made about a guy who wasn't playing hockey this season. As good as he was, Milan Hejduk scored only 21 career goals against teams from New York and New Jersey.
Milan Hejduk once scored 50 goals in an NHL season; he won a Stanley Cup (2001) and won a Maurice Richard Trophy (2003). He played his entire career in Denver, and in the shadow of men like Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Rob Blake, Raymond Bourque and Patrick Roy. He won a gold medal at the 1998 Olympics alongside Jaromir Jagr and Dom Hasek.
He was born in Czechoslovakia (Usti nad Labem) and enjoyed a splendid career in the NHL. Any fool could see he was near the end last season, and not playing this year is kind of a tell too.
Milan Hejduk was never an easy out and could score goals like ringing a bell. I'm going to miss him.