'The 31-year-old Heinze established career highs with 27 goals and 27 assists in 79 games and ranked 12th in the NHL with 12 power-play tallies. He added three goals and four assists in seven playoff games with Buffalo, which acquired him at the trade deadline for a third-round draft pick.'
'So "The Dominator" has left the building, but when he returns to the HSBC Arena next season, he may be in for a big surprise — his former team will still be contending.'
'"Rob Ray has been a leader on and off the ice for the Buffalo Sabres over the past 12 seasons," Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said. "His commitment to our organization and this community makes us happy to have him back."'
'Ray, an unrestricted free agent, agreed to a one-year contract on Tuesday to remain with the Sabres. Financial terms were not disclosed.'
As you dangle your Hasek voodoo doll over the bonfire, ask yourself this. What lengths would you go to in order to achieve your career goal? You can sit there and be self-righteous and say, "well I would have handled it better." But would you have? Could you have? Especially if the window on your chance was getting smaller and smaller?
'"But I think more than sadness I feel excitement, because I think I can still prove something to myself and to people. That's why I chose to leave this city and this organization."'
'With Hasek's exit – so soon after the departures of Peca and the Bills' feisty quarterback Flutie – the city has no athletic idols left to worship.'
'And the Sabres buckled. Why? Because for years there were two sets of rules in this organization: one set for Hasek and another for everybody else. It was exposed again Monday, when he sat in HSBC Arena and had the Sabres hold a news conference for a player no longer their own.'
'Donald Audette has left the Buffalo Sabres . . . again.'
'As it turned out, the choice to leave was his. Regardless of the reason, however, it's tough to see him go.'
'Hasek said he spoke with Regier around 10:30 p.m. Saturday. "I told him, no, no, no — he was asking for too much and I said, 'I won't go to Detroit if you ask for too many players,' " Hasek said. "I told him, 'I need every good player on this team.'"'
'For a player in Hasek's position, with his career clock winding down, it's only about winning the elusive Stanley Cup. That's why he has come to Hockeytown.'
'Where Vyacheslav Kozlov, a truly fine player, won't sell a dozen tickets in Buffalo, Hasek comes here and gives the entire Red Wings organization hope.'
'"Now you see all goaltenders that back-flop now, throwing the arms and legs out. Twenty years ago, it wasn't acceptable to play like Dominik. You were thought to be no good if you played like him. You had to be either a butterfly goaltender or a stand-up goalie — you had to do things a certain way. Dominik's changed that. It's tribute to him."'
'Q: Did it surprise you the Wings were able to trade for him? A: We had been talking to them for a couple of weeks. You never know how these things will turn out. Evidently, he really wanted to come here.'