Avalanche keep Hejduk

The Colorado Avalanche signed veteran forward Milan Hejduk to a one-year contract on Friday.

Hejduk had 14 goals and 23 assists in 81 games for Colorado this past season.

The 36-year-old Czech has spent his entire career with the Avalanche after being selected in the fourth round (87th overall) of the 1994 draft while the franchise was still based in Quebec.

Hejduk will enter next season just nine games shy of becoming the first player in Avalanche history to appear in 1,000 games. The only other franchise player to reach 1,000 contests was Joe Sakic, who appeared in 508 with Quebec and 870 with Colorado (1,378 total).

"Over the years, Milan has been an instrumental part of our organization's success," said Avalanche general manager/executive vice president Greg Sherman. "He has represented this franchise with class and will continue to complement the young nucleus of players we have been building this team around."

In 991 career games, the former Rocket Richard Trophy winner has compiled 371 goals and 423 assists. Hejduk ranks fourth in franchise history in goals and points, and sits fifth in assists.

"My family and I are very excited to continue my career here in Denver," said Hejduk. "I believe in this organization and our young players and look forward to helping the team in any way that I can."

Hejduk is one of the greatest Czech-born players to play in the NHL. Only two other Czech-born players have registered more points -- Jaromir Jagr (1,653) and Patrik Elias (894).