There are more than a few hockey people out there who believe that Dominik Hasek’s run with the Buffalo Sabres was the best of any goalie from his era – if not ever. As strong a force as nostalgia can be, it wasn’t enough for Sabres GM Darcy Regier to bring back a 47-year-old goalie, though.
Mike Harrington reports that Regier confirmed that Regier passed on Hasek’s offer to return to the scene of his greatest individual work.
“He was excited. I think it’s tremendous,” Regier said. “He’ll be 47 at the start of this season. I hope he finds a team to play with. I would love to see him back in the league and hopefully he would play well – in the Western Conference.”
Hasek’s agent insists that “The Dominator” believes wholeheartedly in his ability to come back and then he’s better than most NHL backups. In fact, reports are circulating that the relatively ancient goalie wants more than one-year deal.
Even with the goalie position seeing some serious improvements over the years, it’s not totally crazy to imagine Hasek landing with some team if his goals are reasonable. He’s had some success overseas since leaving the NHL and was still useful in his final years in Detroit.
It’s easy to see why Buffalo passed, though. Ryan Miller and Jhonas Enroth are both under contract and represent perhaps the Sabres’ greatest strength now that Derek Roy has been scuttled out of town. Sure, it would be cool to see Hasek and his Slinky-like spine in a Sabres uniform again – they’d have to trot out those goofy designs with the buffalo head at least once, right? – but some things are better left to our memories.