While they continue their pursuit of free agent goalie Tomas Vokoun, the Colorado Avalanche started the free agency period with the signing of defenseman Jan Hejda, formerly of the Columbus Blue Jackets, to start filling in the gap left by the trade of John-Michael Liles. The deal is for four years and reportedly worth $13 million.
Hejda has played five seasons in the NHL, his first year with the Edmonton Oilers and the last four with the Blue Jackets. Hejda scored a career-high five goals in 2010-11 and reached 20 points, the second-best total of his career. Hejda adds more size to a defense that really could use it. He is 6-foot-4 and 237 pounds. The 33-year-old hails from Prague, Czech Republic, so he will have fellow countryman Milan Hejduk on the team. If the Avalanche add Vokoun in net that will make a third Czech player on the team. Fellow Czechs Tomas Fleischmann and David Koci are likely to leave via free agency this summer.
For more on the Avalanche and their offseason plans, visit Mile High Hockey.