Hejduk has four 30-goal seasons in Colorado
Hejduk, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound native of the Czech Republic, was the Avalanche's sixth selection in the NHL entry draft in 1994, going 87th overall. Last season, he scored 25 goals and had 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.
The 29-year-old Hejduk will have to help fill the role of superstar forward Peter Forsberg, who signed a two-year, $11.5 million contract with Philadelphia earlier this 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 native country in the 1998 and 2002 Olympics, coming away with the 1998 gold medal.
He has had four 30-goal seasons, including a league-leading 50 in 2002-03. He led all scorers with 16 assists in 23 games in the 2001 Stanley Cup playoffs, helping the Avalanche win their second championship.
"I wanted to keep playing in Denver for a long time," Hejduk said in a statement.
Brunette, 31, spent the last three seasons with the Wild, but Minnesota said it would not pursue the unrestricted free agent for the upcoming season. Brunette has also spent time with Atlanta, Nashville and Washington.
He had 15 goals and 34 assists for the Wild in the most recent season.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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