Goalie Dominik Hasek Interested in NHL Return
At age 47, the goalie known as the ‘Dominator’ Dominik Hasek wants to come back to the NHL. Hasek not only wants to play he wants to sign a multi-year deal with a team.
“There is no option. He will play and he will excel will do all of the things he can do,” Hasek’s agent Ritch Winter said of a comeback to reporters in a recent interview.
There is no doubt Hasek is a legend but at age 47 (turning 48 in January), teams are skeptical he will be able to produce at a high level and rightfully so. Buffalo Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier has already refused to entertain Hasek’s returnaas.
Add not playing last season coupled with being out of the NHL since the 2007- 2008 season to the fact that Hasek wants a multiyear deal as deterring factors. A general manager would be downright crazy to sign him, right?
However, the risk of signing him is far worth the reward because Hasek could still potentially produce at a high level, even in a backup role (at age 46 he led the KHL in shutouts and at age 45 he won the Czech league title and MVP).
Although Hasek probably is not a NHL starter, anymore he would play 20-25 games at the most and he would help ease the load off any starter.
Not only is resting the starter important, say Hasek and his unorthodox style steals five games for a team on the brink of the playoffs. Those 10 points put a team in the eighth slot as opposed to sitting home come playoff time.
Even if the ‘Dominator’ doesn’t steal 10 points, he would be a mentor to a young goalie. Goalies like Corey Crawford, James Riemer, Sergei Bobrovsky, or Corey Schneider could gain by learning from Hasek.
He would only improve their game at the NHL level.
The main reason he has been able to last so long is his ridiculous training regimen and work ethic. Hasek stated on a NHL.com video that he has been working everyday trying to garner some interest even at his older age.
Even if he finds a way on a team instilling his work ethic and drive on a younger goalie signing him would be a major success.
There are question marks about his age but if a general manager looks past that and takes the risk, the potential rewards are plentiful. After all last offseason, the Flyers were crazy enough to take Jaromir Jagr at 40 and he proved to the world that he could play at the NHL level consistently.
If both the NHLPA and the NHL owners can work out a deal and the 2012-2013 season will be played, don’t be surprised if Hasek is offered a tryout at the very least.
It would be pretty neat to see veteran players like Temmu Selanne close in on a penalty shot with the game on the line against Hasek.
That’s reason enough to hope the ‘Dominator’ can make a return to the NHL.