The date: August 7, 1992. Alright Sabres fans: do YOU know what happened on that day? It would eventually prove to be a pretty big move – not the move itself perhaps, but what came as a result of it. Well? Any guesses?
Twenty-one years ago today, the Buffalo Sabres and Chicago Blackhawks made a trade that sent then-backup goaltender Dominik Hasek to the Sabres in exchange for Stephane Beauregard and future considerations.
Although Hasek’s tenure in Buffalo would start off the same as where his tenure in Chicago ended – the backup – it would blossom into much more than that, and the once-overlooked Czech goaltender would become one of the league’s best goaltenders and one of the most renowned netminders in Buffalo Sabres history.
Hasek played 16 seasons in the National Hockey League, nine of which were spent in Buffalo with the Sabres. Through his career, he won the Vezina Trophy six times and the Hart Memorial Trophy and Lester B. Pearson Award twice each – all with the Buffalo Sabres.
Hasek was also named to the 1992 NHL All-Rookie Team and was a part of the NHL First All-Star Team six years in a row, all during his tenure with the Sabres. He also participated in the All-Star Game five times, four of which were during his days with the Sabres.
His tenure with the Sabres would end on June 30, 2001, when the team traded him to Detroit in exchange for Vyacheslav Kozlov, a first round draft pick in 2002 (which would end up being Daniel Paille) and future considerations. But even after he stopped playing in the blue and gold (or the red, white, and black, during the goathead era), Hasek’s name would remain legendary in the Sabres organization.
He played 491 games and won 234 with the Sabres, both of which were records but have since been surpassed by Ryan Miller (500, 269). Hasek still holds the team record in shutouts (55), save percentage for any goaltender who’s played at least ten games (.926) and goals-against average (2.22). He also held franchise records in saves and ice time before Ryan Miller passed both of those marks.
Hasek still holds the franchise records for most shutouts in a season (13, 1997-98) and lowest goals against average in a season (1.87, 1998-99).
After his time with the Buffalo Sabres, Hasek played with the Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators before spending the 2009-11 period overseas. He announced his retirement once again on October 9, 2012 after reportedly considering a return to the NHL.
Oh, and get this: he even has an asteroid named after him.