Greatest Memories of Dominik Hasek


The Buffalo Sabres are going to honor one of the team’s most legendary players on Tuesday night at First Niagara Center. Goaltender Dominik Hasek will be honored with a pre-game ceremony as his #39 is officially retired by the team and raised to the rafters of the First Niagara Center.

Dominik Hasek had a storied NHL career; he played with the Buffalo Sabres, yes, but also played with the Chicago Blackhawks, who drafted him 199th overall in 1983; the Detroit Red Wings, where he won a pair of Stanley Cups, and the Ottawa Senators.

Despite having played with those other teams, Dominik Hasek had arguably the best years of his NHL career during his time with the Sabres, between 1992 and 2001. It was during his time in Buffalo that Dominik Hasek would win multiple awards. He’d become a six-time Vezina winner, a two-time Hart Memorial Trophy winner, a two-time Lester B. Pearson Trophy winner, and a two-time William M. Jennings Trophy.

He had a remarkable 1.87 goals against average in the 1998-99 season. He played over 4,000 minutes of ice time in both the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons. He had 13 shutouts in the 1997-98 season, a career high.

I could go on, and on, and on, about the most incredible moments of Dominik Hasek’s career. The fact is, that would take a lot longer – and a lot more space – than I have right about now.

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  • I’ll be quite honest. I was young when Dominik Hasek was tending net for the Sabres. I first began watching hockey in the 1996-97 season, at the age of six years old. I missed the Dominator’s early years in Buffalo and fell into hockey right when he was at his prime. As such, my memories of that time are skewed, and it’s hard for me to remember a lot of specific moments, other than the ones that, for one reason or another, stick out most for me.

    One of the memories I have of Dominik Hasek during his time with the Buffalo Sabres was at one of the team’s carnivals sometime in the late-90s. I remember how they had players stationed at tables around the arena – Marine Midland Arena, at that time. I remember a panel that was held on the arena floor, with players including Matthew Barnaby. And I recall meeting the one and only Dominik Hasek.

    I remember being so excited about meeting the Dominator. After all, he was arguably the Sabres’ best player and, well, it was a huge deal to be able to meet him. I can remember bits and pieces of waiting in a loooong line just to get the chance to meet him – but I knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime chance.

    I remember that we couldn’t get a photo WITH him – probably a security issue, because there were so many people in line – but we could take a picture OF him, so Mom and I at least snapped a quick, disposable-camera-era photo of the Dominator. (And yes, I still have that photo to this day.)

    Of course, I also remember quite fondly (but also not so fondly) the 1999 Stanley Cup run. Dominik Hasek was one of three goaltenders with the Buffalo Sabres that season, joining Martin Biron and Dwayne Roloson between the pipes. Obviously the ending to that Cup run wasn’t what the Buffalo Sabres and their fanbase had in mind, but I can still remember it as a good run.

    Most of all, my memory of Dominik Hasek is this: how he “retired” and then came out of retirement to play hockey time and time again. Heck, even now – yes, I know he’s 49 – I wonder if he won’t find a way to lace up the skates with a team. I’m sure there are plenty that would still have him.

    There’s no doubt in my mind that there are plenty of Buffalo Sabres fans out there with wonderful memories of Dominik Hasek, so I thought I would begin this post to allow fans to come forward and share those great memories.

    So, Sabres fans, I ask you this. What are your greatest memories of Dominik Hasek? Maybe it’s a game you’ll never forget; maybe it’s a spectacular save that, even years later, still plays out in your head? Maybe it’s his demeanor, an off-ice meeting, an overall season, his multiple NHL awards, or something else.

    Share YOUR greatest memories of Dominik Hasek in the comments below.

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