The Colorado Avalanche have a lot of work to do with their roster, but luckily they’re not in a position where they have too many free agents on their current roster to deal with. They have a small handful of role players and a decent amount of cap space to work with.
While the Avs could go either way with pretty much all of the free agents that they do have, none will make a tremendous imapct either way. The one that will get some attention this summer, as to whether or not the Avs choose to bring him back, is that of veteran forward Milan Hejduk.
Hejduk has played every single one of his years in this league with the Avalanche, a rarity in the sports world today. He’s a veteran presence on a young team, but 2013 was a rough year for him. He struggled to stay healthy, appearing in only 29 of 48 games, with just 11 points on the year.
Not that his 2011-2012 season was much better. He posted the lowest point total of his career over 81 games played, with 37 on the year. His 14 goals were the fewest he’s scored since the 1998-99 season. Not that a decline should come as any surprise, given his advanced age.
Hejduk still has some value to the team, but not at his current price tag. If he takes a paycut from the Avalanche off of the $2 million cap hit he’s currently carrying, then he’s worth keeping around. He can provide some depth and some veteran leadership for a team that could use it.
Whether or not Hejduk is even interested in returning, or wants to call it a career, remains to be seen. With Joe Sacco having been cut loose from behind the bench, those chances likely increase, and if he does want to return, it’d probably only be with the Avs on a one-year deal at a very low price.