We cannot expect Marty and Mika to be the next coming of Hasek, but we can expect them to play to the best of their ability. And when you think about it, that wouldn't be too shabby. The Sabres' organization knew that one day The Dominator would leave, and now that this day has come, it is apparent that they have planned well for his departure. There is life after Dominik Hasek.
He was rumored to be on the trading block. He was saddled with injuries, one of which kept him from playing in the very last game at Memorial Auditorium. He was bombarded with an average of 38 shots a night, the most of his Sabre career. But in the end, The Dominator emerged, as always, unscathed, still a Sabre — an even richer one at that – and for the first time an NHL All-Star.
'It's the new millennium, folks. They're all mercenaries and they have been for quite a while. The best of them come to play a few years for the Sabres or Bills, and then they go. Deal with it.'
'He took the "Dominator" nickname to a new level in the whirlwind weekend that abruptly brought an end to his Sabres' career. "Dictator" might be the term some prefer.'
For everything that went right for Dominik Hasek in the 1994-95 season, there was something else that went wrong.
'One of the bigger obstacles the Buffalo Sabres faced in trading Dominik Hasek was the fact his contract option was for only one more season. If the legendary goaltender had committed to playing for at least two more seasons, the Sabres certainly would have had an easier time moving their precious commodity and probably would have gotten more in return.'
'According to several sources, the Blues offered goalie Fred Brathwaite and forward Cory Stillman (draft picks were also involved) for Hasek and the Sabres liked that deal better than the one that sent them Slava Kozlov and his $2-plus million salary. But Hasek, unaware that the Blues were about to get Weight, pushed for the Detroit deal and under terms of an agreement before his being traded, the Sabres complied.'
In the 1993-94 season, Dominik Hasek won the starting job, the Vezina Trophy — his first – and the hearts and minds of teammates and fans alike. Hasek emerged from his second season as a Sabre with not only job security and some handsome hardware but a cool nickname to boot: “The Dominator.”
Statistically speaking, Dominik Hasek was the best goaltender on the Buffalo Sabres roster in 1992-93 when all was said and done. But he wasn't impressive enough early on to keep the team from feeling the need to acquire former Oiler Grant Fuhr in a blockbuster trade with Toronto. When the 28-year-old Czech phenom stepped in and won the “May Day” game in the playoffs, though, it was the beginning of the end for Fuhr and his wounded knees.
\’In the playoffs, he scored three goals for the Sabres–all on the power play–and had seven points in 13 games, with 10 penalty minutes.\’
Darius Kasparaitis' shot didn't matter. Really, it was just a matter of time. Dom's bags were packed, and the U-Haul truck was in the driveway with the motor running. Hasek didn't think he could win here and was eager for a fresh start before the season had even ended. Hardly a playoff game, we'd all been attending a farewell ceremony.
'"You look at Montreal when Patrick (Roy) went away and (Jocelyn) Thibault came in – they didn't really give him a chance. They thought he was going to be the exact same person that Patrick was. . . . You have to really look at it as I'm a different person, I'm a different goalie, and it's not going to be the same pattern but it can give you success and it can give you results," Biron said.'
'But what the Sabres need isn't a good pep talk. They need scorers. They need some sign that ownership is still committed to putting a winning product on the ice, and that the Rigas family won't stand idly by after sending two of the team's greatest stars, Hasek and Michael Peca, out the door.'
'In addition to his skills as a pugilist, Ray brings experience and leadership to the locker room. Those traits might be particularly valuable since the departures of ex-captain Peca, superstar goalie Hasek and Doug Gilmour, a respected veteran who is now an unrestricted free agent.'
'The Los Angeles Kings signed free-agent right wing Steve Heinze to a three-year contract Tuesday night.'