The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/20/11 at 07:18 AM ET
Former Red Wing Dominik Hasek visited an old haunt on Saturday night, dropping the puck prior to Saturday night’s Sabres-Thrashers game on Saturday night as he’s in Buffalo to take part in the Willie O’Ree Skills Weekend, which is being hosted by his “Hasek’s Heroes” hockey program. After the game, Hasek told Buffalo reporters that he wants to play for at least one more season in the KHL at 46 years of age, as noted by the Associated Press:
“I still believe I could play on the highest level. However, it wouldn’t be a good idea to come back right now to the NHL,” Hasek said. “I feel like I want to stay in hockey, but it’s got to be Russia.”
“I definitely want to play one more year in Russia. I want to win the cup over there,” Hasek said Saturday, during a return to his former home in Buffalo. “I feel great, in good shape.”
Hasek completed his first KHL season after signing a one-year contract with the Moscow Spartak, which was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. He went 23-19-3, finishing fourth in the league among wins, and 17th with a 2.48 goals-against average. He signed with Moscow a year after leading his hometown club, HC Eaton Pardubice, to the Czech league title. Hasek would prefer to sign with a contender. Spartak had a $9 million payroll, among the league’s lowest. He is also intent on playing for a team in which he would be the starter. The chance to start is one of the reasons Hasek doesn’t intend on an NHL comeback.
“The NHL, it’s the best show in the world, but I said already when I left Detroit, I said goodbye to the NHL,” Hasek said. “I want to play. But if I want to play, I don’t want to be a backup goalie.”
From what I read in the Russian press, Spartak doesn’t necessarily want Hasek back, but as he played very, very, very well for them, he’ll certainly find employment in the KHL.
The Sabres’ website posted a clip of Hasek holding an impromptu press conference with the media:
Hasek also received quite the honor from Sabres fans, as noted by the Buffalo News’s Mike Harrington:
Hasek played here from 1992-2001 and was voted the No. 1 Sabre in franchise history in a Buffalo News poll last fall.
“A friend told me about it today and it’s definitely an honor,” he said. “My feeling was I would be the top two. Gil Perreault did such a great job and I saw him play as a kid and saw his tapes so that’s definitely an honor for me to be in this position with so many players who played before me and with me. I appreciate it.”
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.