Senators introduce Hasek as new starter
OTTAWA (CP) - The Ottawa Senators are hoping Dominik Hasek can still
The NHL club announced the signing of the 39-year-old netminder to a
one-year contract plus an option Tuesday.
It's a unique deal that will play Hasek $2 million US in base salary
next season but another $4 million if the Senators win the Stanley
``I wanted to play for a team that I believe can win the Cup,''
Hasek said at a news conference. ``And I believe that with my help,
all together, we can do it.''
The Senators had received permission from the Detroit Red Wings to
speak with the Czech star even before he became an unrestricted free
agent last Thursday.
``Ottawa was my first choice and I was very excited when my agent
called back and said they were very interested in me,'' Hasek said.
``And today I'm here.''
The Sens welcomed Hasek by having Jason Spezza give up his No. 39 to
the goalie. Spezza will now wear No. 19.
It became clear June 27 that Hasek was on his way to Ottawa when the
Sens traded netminder Patrick Lalime to the St. Louis Blues during
the NHL entry draft in Raleigh, N.C.
The fact Hasek chose Ottawa to continue his comeback is not
surprising given the Senators' talented roster and his previous
relationship with general manager John Muckler - GM in Buffalo for
five seasons when Hasek was at the peak of his career.
``I know this is a very good team and I believe with my help this
team can win and that's why I made the choice to become an Ottawa
Senator,'' Hasek said.
One of the NHL's all-time great goaltenders, Hasek won two MVP awards
and six Vezina Trophies during a nine-year stint with the Buffalo
Sabres. He also led the Czech Republic to the gold medal in the 1998
He joined the Red Wings in July 2001, winning his first Stanley Cup
11 months later and then retiring.
Hasek then ended a one-year retirement last season, but he played in
just 14 games with Detroit before a chronic groin injury ended his
disappointing return. He had groin surgery this spring to fix the
problem. He went 8-3-2 with a 2.21 goals-against average and .907
``It was disappointing last year but at the same time, I know I can
still play,'' Hasek said. ``I know I'll be coming back and be in
better shape than I was last year.''
The Red Wings told Hasek they weren't interested in having him back,
deciding to stick with Curtis Joseph and Manny Legace.
Meanwhile, Muckler needed to make a change in goal after Lalime
played poorly in Ottawa's first-round playoff loss to rival Toronto
this spring, the Senators falling far short of their Stanley Cup
Muckler met with Hasek over a month ago.
``The excitement on his face, it convinced me that this was the right
way to go,'' Muckler said.
The Senators, meanwhile, continue their makeover. The arrival of
Hasek comes on the heels of Radek Bonk's trade to Montreal and Bryan
Murray's hiring as head coach.