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Colorado re-signs All-Star RW Hejduk
By wire services
Published August 7, 2005
DENVER - The Avalanche signed two-time All-Star right wing Milan Hejduk to a five-year contract Saturday and signed former Minnesota left wing Andrew Brunette to a two-year deal.
Hejduk, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound native of the Czech Republic, was the Avalanche's sixth selection in the NHL draft in 1994, going 87th overall. Last season during the lockout he had 25 goals and 26 assists in 48 games with Pardubice HC in the Czech Elite League.
"Since his rookie season in 1998-99, he has been an instrumental part of the success of this franchise," Avalanche president and general manager Pierre Lacroix said.
Hejduk, 29, will help fill the role of superstar forward Peter Forsberg, who signed a two-year, $11.5-million contract with Philadelphia last week.
Hejduk was named to the NHL all-rookie team in 1999 and made All-Star Game appearances in 2000 and 2001. He represented his country in the 1998 and 2002 Olympic Games, coming away with the gold medal in '98.
He has had four 30-goal seasons, including a league-leading 50 in 2002-03. He led all scorers with 16 assists in the 2001 playoffs, helping the Avalanche win its second Stanley Cup.
"I wanted to keep playing in Denver for a long time," Hejduk said in a statement.
The 31-year-old Brunette spent the past three seasons with Minnesota, but the Wild said it would not pursue the unrestricted free agent for the upcoming season. Brunette also has played with Atlanta, Nashville and Washington. He had 15 goals and 34 assists for the Wild in the most recent season.
PREDATORS: Free-agent center Scott Nichol, who played for Chicago in 2003-04, signed.
STARS: The team signed defenseman Stephane Robidas to a two-year deal.