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Dominik Hasek Planning Comeback to NHL at Age 47.
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07-02-2012, 08:35 AM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Dominik Hasek Planning Comeback to NHL at Age 47.
As was reported in January, legendary goaltender Dominik Hasek released a statement on his official Facebook page claiming he had been planning a comeback to the NHL. Two months ago, NHL.com published an article revealing that Hasek had been preparing his return and was in talks with multiple teams.
Hasek is 47 years old and will turn 48 in January. He last played two seasons ago for Spartak Moscow in the KHL, putting up a save percentage of 0.915 and allowing a 2.48 GAA.
Report: Hasek, 47, interested in NHL comeback
Saturday, 05.26.2012 / 11:02 AM / News
By Michael Langr - NHL.com Correspondent
It's been almost 13 years since goalie Dominik Hasek announced his retirement for the first time. Since then, his career his continued in fits and starts.
Instead of contemplated retirement, Hasek was eventually traded to the Detroit Red Wings and won the Stanley Cup with them in 2002. He officially retired after that, but after just a one-year break, he came back to join the Wings again. He continued playing after the lockout for the Ottawa Senators and came back to Detroit one more time to win the Cup and announce another retirement in 2008.
But after another one-year break he returned to the crease, this time to win the Czech Extraliga title with HC Pardubice, where he had started his career. In 2010, Hasek signed a one-year deal with the Spartak Moscow in the Kontinental Hockey League. He retired once more last year.
Now, at the age of 47, the Dominator wants to come back once again.
And, surprisingly, it seems that the NHL is the only option for him.
According to Czech newspaper Denik Sport, Detroit or Tampa Bay are among teams that might come into play.
Hasek travelled to the United States earlier this month to visit his son, Michal, at Michigan State University, but he reportedly also met with the managers of a few NHL clubs.
"We are working on [a new deal] but I don't know the answer yet," Hasek told Denik Sport.
Despite his most recent retirement, Hasek spent a busy year full of other sports: cycling, skiing, spinning, soccer and volleyball. His various activities drove him to cross Albania by bike, to ski on a glacier in the Alps with Czech Olympic downhill skiing medalist Sarka Zahrobska, and to compete with professional drivers while racing at the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Race in Barcelona.
"I wanted to do some sport at least five times a week. I wanted to stay in a good shape to be ready to step into the hockey training again," Hasek told NHL.com in March.
At the time, he said he had a plan when he returned to hockey training, but refused to discuss it. Now, it appears Hasek had his eye on the NHL all along.
"Of course, my agent Rich Winter knows about what I want. But I don't want to comment on that any further. Nothing changed in my plans. But right now, I don't have anything in front of me. So I'm waiting. I think in June the decision will be made," Hasek told Denik Sport. "I know where I would like to play, but I don't want to talk about it. I think it's better to keep it between the two sides involved. It wouldn't be appropriate to publish anything right now."
Hasek's trip to North America is not the only indication that the Dominator is aiming toward the NHL.
He turned down the offer from the Czech club KLH Chomutov and he admitted that Russia was not interesting for him anymore.
"I don't know about [the offers from the Russian clubs]. And, to be honest, I don't even care," he said. "I've had many offers from European clubs, but my answer was just: 'No, thank you.' That was not what I wanted."
Apparently, what he wants is the NHL.
It is a pretty daring plan, but as he has proven many times, nothing is impossible for the Dominator.
Hasek has won the Stanley Cup twice (2002 and 2008), Olympic gold (1998) and three domestic league titles (1987, 1989 and 2010). He has six Vezina and two Hart Trophies on his mantle.
But spending evenings on the sofa showing off his silverware and telling kids stories about "how it once was when I was playing hockey" is not an attractive outlook for this restless character.
Instead of sitting and looking forward to becoming a grandpa one day, Hasek has talked with his personal coach Josef Bruk about setting plans for the summer training.
"I am working hard almost every day. I am in great shape. And the other side knows that," he told Denik Sport. "If the deal is done, I would start with even more intense workout from the end of June or so. I am not skating yet, I usually do that just before the season. But it does not mean I am not getting ready.
"Now we have to wait what happens and start right from there."
His agent is Ritch Winter. Winter represents multiple clients, including some who were just signed this week such as Arron Asham, Darcy Hordichuk, Dustin Penner, and Shane O'Brien. He is also the agent of both Brent Seabrook and Marian Hossa. Additionally, he is Carey Price's agent, and will be negotiating with Montreal Canadiens management about re-signing the RFA netminder. There is no doubt he is a busy man; perhaps he will find time to discuss with teams the possibility of Hasek's return.
As Free Agency has just begun, this saga should certainly be paid attention to. Many fans are still unaware Hasek is available; while he may or may not return to the NHL depending on interest, this adds one more name to the list of available goaltenders.
Perhaps someone will sign him as a starter, perhaps as a backup. Whatever his plans may be, he is available. If he returns, he will become the oldest goaltender to have ever played in the NHL. The record is currently shared by Johnny Bower and Moe Roberts, who each retired at age 46.
Thoughts on his comeback attempt, and would you be interested in seeing him in a Blackhawks uniform again?
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