On Friday, the hockey world collectively LOLed at 47-year-old Dominik Hasek’s interest in an NHL comeback. Hasek hasn’t played in the league since 2008 and didn’t play (like, at all) last season, so initial reactions to this news were skeptical at best.
A few days later? Yeah, not so skeptical.
USA Today’s Kevin Allen asked three individuals — Devils backup Johan Hedberg, NHL on NBC analyst Darren Pang and Detroit goalie coach Jim Bedard — and they all said the same thing:
When it comes to Hasek, never say never.
“With Dominik Hasek, you can’t count anything out,” Hedberg said. “He didn’t play last year, but he had [seven] shutouts in the KHL when he was 45.”
Hedberg’s a good guy to ask about this sort of thing. At 39, he’s the fourth-oldest goalie in the league — and he backs up the second-oldest, 40-year-old Martin Brodeur.
Pang, meanwhile, felt it would be “impossible” for a 47-year-old to become a No. 1 in the NHL, but said a backup gig was within the realm of possibility.
Bedard re-iterated what Hedberg said — you can’t count Hasek out — noting that the Dominator is “as determined of an individual as I’ve ever met.”
Bedard also knows a thing or two about older goalies. In his 15 years with the Wings, he’s coached the likes of Hasek (43 at the time), Chris Osgood (38), Curtis Joseph (36) and Ken Wregget (35).
Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.
Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:
Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).
The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.
For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”
On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.
With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.
“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”
As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.
It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.