Avalanche to retire Hejduk's jersey

24 MARCH 2013 Colorado Avalanche right wing Milan Hejduk during a regular season National Hockey League game between the Colorado Avalanche and the Vancouver Canucks at the Pepsi Center in Denver Colorado. *****For Editorial Use Only

Dustin Bradford Icon Sportswire

The Avalanche on Wednesday announced they'll retire Hejduk's No. 23 this season during a pregame ceremony January 16 with the Wild in town, honoring one of the more understated players from the franchise's hallowed teams of the 1990s and 2000s.

Milan Hejduk will become the sixth player in Colorado Avalanche history to have his number retired in January. He finished his career with 805 points (375 goals, 430 assists) in 1,020 games with Colorado.

This will be the 6th Avalanche jersey to hang at Pepsi Center joining Joe Sakic (#19), Peter Forsberg (#21), Patrick Roy (#33), Adam Foote (#52) and Ray Bourque (#77).

"Milan was a tremendous player, a great teammate, a victor and a true professional in every sense", said Sakic, in a statement released by the team. "He was a quiet leader who led by example and always represented this organization and himself with class".

Hejduk's best season came in 2002-03 when he led the National Hockey League with 50 goals while adding 48 assists.

"I am truly honored to have my jersey raised to the rafters alongside those great Avalanche players", Hejduk said. "From my rookie season here in Colorado, I always felt a tremendous sense of pride wearing this sweater and being a part of this organization".

Hejduk spent his entire 14-year NHL career with the Avalanche after being drafted in the fourth round of 1994 NHL Draft by the Quebec Nordiques.

Hejduk reached the 20-goal mark in 11 consecutive seasons from 1999-00 to 2010-11, tying the franchise record for consecutive years of 20 or more goals. Hejduk was a three-time All-Star - in 2000, 2001 and 2009 - and competed in three Winter Olympics, capturing a gold medal with the Czech Republic at the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, and a bronze medal at the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy.

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