The inevitable day has come for Dominik Hasek. While on Saturday March 29th the Buffalo Sabres will formally induct him into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame, next year his number 39 will hang from the rafters along with the likes of Gilbert Perreault, Pat Lafontaine, Danny Gare, Tim Horton, Rene Robert, and Rick Martin.
Hasek was actually voted into the Hall of Fame years ago, but the decision to keep him out of the “hall of fame” and “jersey retirement” conversations was done at Hasek’s wishes. He did not want to be inducted or honored while still playing.
With his formal retirement from hockey, the Sabres are now free to honor the best goalie to every play the game.
Hasek was the fifth person to wear number 39 in Buffalo Sabres history – and the team prevented Ryan Miller from wearing the number, despite the fact that 39 was Miller’s number in college, and Ryan has since retained his old number.
He will be the final member of the Sabres to don the number. Hasek joined the Buffalo Sabres in 1992 when they traded for him from the Chicago Blackhawks.
Hasek would go on to be a traded backup goaltender to one of the most decorated goaltenders in the games history. While playing for the Sabres, he became the first goaltender in NHL history to win the Hart Trophy twice (1997 & 1998), while also capturing six Vezina Trophies (1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999 & 2001) as well as the William M. Jennings Trophy (1994 & 2001) and the Lester B. Pearson Award twice (1997 & 1998). Hasek would go on and win the Stanley Cup twice with the Detroit Red Wings, and help lead the Czech Republic to a gold medal in the Nagano Olympics (1998) and a bronze medal at the 2006 Torin games.
Dominik Hasek is back in Buffalo this weekend to receive his Sabre, and forever be enshrined in the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame. An elite club of former members of the organization.
Hasek will no doubt continue to add to his resume in retirement, adding a retired number and a Buffalo Sabres alum and Hall of Fame member, but he will most likely be voted in to the Hockey Hall of Fame on the first ballot.