Clearly Dominik Hasek wasn’t content with just being part of a Stanley Cup winning team in 2008. Nor was he content with winning a Czech league title this year. If you’re a legendary goaltender, even a 45 year-old one, you want to just keep playing and that’s precisely what Hasek is going to do next season.
Having won virtually every award in the game, Dominik Hasek appears ready for a new challenge as the 45-year old netminder signed a one-year deal with Spartak Moscow of the KHL.
The two-time Stanley Cup champion, six time Vezina trophy winner and Olympic gold medalist came out of retirement last year to play for his hometown team, Pardubice in the Czech league. He posted a .921 save percentage and 2.26 goals against average while leading Pardubice to their first title in 16 seasons.
If you’re looking for a great look at what motivates a man like Hasek, I’ll just send you to Dmitry Chesnokov over at Yahoo’s Puck Daddy and ask that you read the whole interview. For me, Hasek is perhaps the most interesting player to come out of the 1990s/2000s NHL.
While Martin Brodeur put up the crazy numbers with the Devils in their militant defensive system, Hasek worked his brains out with the Blackhawks, Sabres, Red Wings (two times over) and Senators. While you may not remember him with the Blackhawks and Senators, his years in Buffalo were where he became a legend and Detroit is where he won his two Stanley Cups (in 2002 and 2008). Add a 1998 Olympic gold medal to that resume and you’ve got a guy that goes down in the annals of history as one of the greatest goaltenders we’ve ever seen.
While Buffalo fans will snarl their teeth at any mention of Hasek (I guess that Slava Kozlov for Hasek deal didn’t work out so hot) he is the goalie that brought the Sabres to their last Stanley Cup final in 1999. I guess being thought of as being better than Martin Brodeur or Patrick Roy will only satisfy some fans so much.