The Colorado Avalanche might not have a ton to look forward to, if this year is anything like the last, but one thing on the schedule should bring fans to their feet. On January 6th, before their game against the Minnesota Wild, the Avalanche will raise Milan Hejduk’s number 23 to the rafters and retire it from use.
It will be the sixth such sweater retired, to go along with Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Patrick Roy, Adam Foote and Ray Bourque, all teammates of Hejduk. The franchise also retired Peter Stastny, Michel Goulet, Marc Tardif and J.C. Tremblay before moving from Quebec City. Hejduk ranks second all-time among Colorado (not Quebec) players in most offensive categories, trailing only Sakic. He played his entire career for the organization, scoring 805 points in 1,020 regular season games.
- Though rumors have been circulating that Vancouver Canucks prospect Olli Juolevi already has a deal in place to play in Europe should he not break camp with the team, Rick Dhaliwal of News 1130 caught up with Agent Markus Lehto who quickly shot them down. Juolevi was selected fifth-overall in 2016 but returned to the London Knights to play last season. It’s not clear if the Canucks want to keep him in the NHL this year, or if he could benefit from some more seasoning in either the OHL or Europe. He’s still only 19, and though he still projects as a top defenseman, it would be tough to make the jump right away.
- Emily Kaplan of ESPN asked a large group of players what one rule change they would institute if they were commissioner, and the resounding answer was to allow players to go to the Olympics. While many of the other responses are both insightful and funny, it’s clear that the majority of the league—even those who would have no chance of playing in the tournament—dislikes the league’s decision.