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Hasek to retire


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Not surprising I suppose, but news nonetheless:

Six-time Vezina Trophy winner Hasek to retire: Report

June 08, 2008

Larry Lage


DETROIT–Dominik Hasek is expected to announce his retirement, a person in the NHL told The Associated Press on Sunday night.

The Detroit Red Wings scheduled a news conference for Monday morning without revealing details.

A person within the league, who requested anonymity because the announcement was Hasek's to make, said Hasek was expected to end his award-winning career.

Hasek won six Vezina Trophies as the NHL's top goaltender and two Hart Trophies as the league's MVP.

The 43-year-old star from the Czech Republic lost his job during Detroit's run to the Stanley Cup, getting replaced by Chris Osgood in the first round.

Hasek's agent, Ritch Winter, declined to comment Sunday night.

The Dominator won 389 games with the Red Wings, Ottawa Senators, Buffalo Sabres and Chicago Blackhawks, who drafted Hasek in the 10th round in 1983 and had to wait until the 1990-91 season to get him on the ice. Chicago kept him just two seasons, then watched him become one of the game's greats in Buffalo.

He won 65 playoff games – including 16 in 2002 when he won his first Stanley Cup by helping Detroit win it all – and gave up an average of just two goals in the post-season.

Hasek led the Czech Republic to gold at the 1998 Nagano Olympics.

During this past regular season, he won 27 games and had a 2.14 goals-against average while alternating with Osgood in net.

Detroit coach Mike Babcock chose to start Hasek in the playoffs – saying "Dom's not going to struggle" – then pulled him in favour of Osgood during Game 4 in the opening-round series against the Nashville Predators.

Osgood won his first nine games as a starter in the post-season and finished with a 14-4 record and a league-low 1.55 goals-against average, keeping Hasek on the bench.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said he would welcome Hasek back if he wanted to return.

"If Dom still has energy and passion, I'd be interested in having him back with Osgood again," Holland said on the ice in Pittsburgh last week after Detroit won its 11th title.

Before drinking from the Cup, Hasek acknowledged having mixed emotions.

"Obviously, it's not the same if you're not in the net," Hasek said in the jubilant, champagne-drenched dressing room. "But overall, it was a great experience and winning a Cup is why I came back and signed with the Red Wings."

After an injury-shortened season with the Senators, Hasek returned to the Red Wings two years ago.

He signed a one-year contract worth $750,000 (U.S.) in 2006 and made $900,000 in bonuses. He chose to stick around last summer with a one-year contract worth more than $2 million in base salary with a chance to earn an additional $2 million in bonuses.

"Dom didn't want more," Winter said last July. "He's taking one for the team. It's not one of my fun deals, but Dom is happy and that's important."

Detroit acquired Hasek the first time in 2001 in a trade with Buffalo, where he had been since 1992. He backstopped the Red Wings to the championship during his first season in Detroit, then retired.

Hasek rejoined Detroit for the 2003-04 season, creating an uncomfortable goalie triangle with Curtis Joseph and Manny Legace already on the team. Hasek played in just 14 games, going 8-3-2 before a chronic groin injury ended that season.

Hasek went 28-10-4 with Ottawa, but didn't play after injuring his groin while playing for the Czech Republic in the Turin Olympics. Hasek hoped to play during the post-season but never fully recovered.


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