Monday, July 05, 2004

The End of the Hasek Saga (for Detroit anyway)

The Ottawa Senators will officially announce their signing of former Red Wings goalie Dominik Hasek tomorrow at 10 ET, Canadian sports news outlet TSN is reporting. The terms of the deal are not known but that will likely come out tomorrow during the conference. Hasek was set to earn $6 million last season with the Wings but stopped accepting his pay in just before announcing he was done for the season due to a groin injury after playing only 14 games. It is highly unlikely he will make that much this coming season and it is believed that his salary will be in the range of $2 million. Dominik did have surgery on his groin in May and has had to pass physicals for the Senators, who obviously think he's fit to play. They are confident enough that they traded away their previous #1 goalie, Patrick Lalime, to St. Louis, a move which once again resulted in the disruption of Chris Osgood's career at the hands of Dominik Hasek. The first time, if you don't remember, was in 2001 when he set himself up to be traded to Detroit from Buffalo, thereby forcing Osgood out. Hasek pulled a similar move in 2003 when he announced his un-retirement despite the fact that the Wings already had a #1 goalie, Curtis Joseph. That decision created a cloud of controversy which hung over the Detroit lockerroom for most of the year. Like I've said before, I think the Sens are taking a dumb risk with Dominik and I think they would have been better off making a trade for a top goalie if they really thought they needed one. Dominik was supposed to be healthy for last season and we all know how that turned out. He says he's in good condition but that's exactly what he said last summer. I remember listening to the phone conference in which he announced his return. Forgive me if I'm a little skeptical but I don't think he's capable of playing consistently at the NHL level any more. Obviously, if his surgery really did fix the injury, I'm likely wrong but I think the question of his health is big enough to warrant leaving him be. Although I disagree with his recent career choices, I do want to thank Dominik for coming to Detroit in 2002 and helping the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup. I have a lot of good memories from that year and many of them consist of some action by Hasek. It's too bad things didn't work out differently last season. Just goes to show, Dom, we fans were right after all. You should have stayed after 2002.


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