Dominik Hasek Nears Retirement

Mar 19, 2011; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres former goalie Dominik Hasek returning to drop the ceremonial face off before the game against the Atlanta Thrashers at the HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

Former Buffalo Sabres goaltender (and my personal favorite Sabre of all-time) Dominik Hasek has announced that he will retire from hockey if he does not receive any contract offers by June, according to PuckDaddy.

From Sportovni: “If I do not receive an adequate contract offer by May or June, it would mean that there is a 99-percent chance that my career will be over. I have an idea of what the contract should look like, and if it does not work out, then I plan on ending my career. I don’t want to, but it’s something I have to count on. That’s how it is.”

Hasek last played in 2010-11 for Spartak Moscow in the KHL, where he went 23-18-3, with a 2.45 goals-against average, and a .915 save percentage. Seven of those victories were shutouts.

In nine seasons (1992-2001) with the Buffalo Sabres, Hasek acquired over 25 franchise records, including most all-time games played, wins (recently surpassed by Ryan Miller), shutouts, and lowest goals against average. He also holds the Sabres’ record for most shutouts in a single season with 13 in 1997–98, and lowest goals against average in a single season with a total of 1.87 in 1998–99.

In the 1993-94 season, Hasek became the first European goaltender to lead the NHL in GAA, and was the first goalie to have a GAA under 2.00 since 1974. He also holds the record for most shutouts in a month with 6 (in 1997-98), and still holds the all-time highest NHL career save percentage with a .922.

“The Dominator” won the Vezina Trophy six times, and also won the Hart Trophy twice. During the 1998 Winter Olympics in Japan, he led the Czech national ice hockey team to its first and only Olympic gold medal, prompting Wayne Gretzky to call him “the best player in the game.”

Hasek led the 7th seeded Sabres to the Stanley Cup finals in 1999 against the Dallas Stars,  but Buffalo lost the series four games to two, with the decisive sixth game being one of the longest Stanley Cup playoff games in NHL history. Hasek and Ed Belfour made 50 and 53 saves, respectively, in a sudden-death triple-overtime duel that only ended when Brett Hull scored the controversial “no-goal.” Hasek helped the Detroit Red Wings win the Stanley Cup in 2002, becoming the first European starting goaltender to win the Cup.

Without a doubt, if Hasek does retire, the Buffalo Sabres need to retire his jersey immediately, and further immortalize his legend by throwing him a ceremony, and hanging Hasek’s #39 up in the rafters of First Niagara Center.

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Tags: Buffalo Sabres Detroit Red Wings Dominator Dominik Hasek Goaltender NHL Retire Retirement Spartak Moscow

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