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Dominik Hasek


Kong
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With all the chaos surrounding this organization, thinking of good things can't hurt.

To recap,Dominik Hasek's story is that Buffalo picked him up as a backup goalie from Chicago for next to nothing. In Buffalo, he developed into arguably the greatest goalie of all time. Listening to the Hockey Guy talk about Hasek on youtube brings it all back. One thing I realized in his talk about Hasek is that it's probably true Buffalo was not even a playoff team without Hasek. He took them to the Finals but...we know the rest. At the height of his fame, the Sabres paid Hasek a huge $9 million a year salary. Hasek enabled a team of pluggers to have wild success but in the end, the talent and depth on the team was too thin and possibly his salary hamstrung the team, much like Eichel-Skinner does now.

Then Hasek went to Detroit who was in a much different position...the team had the stars, talent and depth the Sabres lacked and acquiring Hasek was the coups de gras. Lesson learned: there is no shortcut to building a great franchise. You can't spend huge chunks of change on one or two great players. Do it right and then add the final pieces like Hasek in place to cement winning.

 

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1 hour ago, Kong said:

With all the chaos surrounding this organization, thinking of good things can't hurt.

To recap,Dominik Hasek's story is that Buffalo picked him up as a backup goalie from Chicago for next to nothing. In Buffalo, he developed into arguably the greatest goalie of all time. Listening to the Hockey Guy talk about Hasek on youtube brings it all back. One thing I realized in his talk about Hasek is that it's probably true Buffalo was not even a playoff team without Hasek. He took them to the Finals but...we know the rest. At the height of his fame, the Sabres paid Hasek a huge $9 million a year salary. Hasek enabled a team of pluggers to have wild success but in the end, the talent and depth on the team was too thin and possibly his salary hamstrung the team, much like Eichel-Skinner does now.

Then Hasek went to Detroit who was in a much different position...the team had the stars, talent and depth the Sabres lacked and acquiring Hasek was the coups de gras. Lesson learned: there is no shortcut to building a great franchise. You can't spend huge chunks of change on one or two great players. Do it right and then add the final pieces like Hasek in place to cement winning.

 

To be clear, Detroit was one of the biggest spenders in the pre-cap NHL, and used that money to pay big salaries as a means to win championships.

Detroit's success as a big-spending team was one if the factors that drove the league to a salary cap.

And Hasek wasn't the first Sabre to bail from that team.  Peca held out the season before, and the inability of the Rigas (who had bigger issues at the time) to pay its talent was one of the factors that drove Hasek to say he wanted out.  

That was followed by the Rigas' downfall and the Sabres were driven into bankruptcy.

When we talk about bad owners I often wonder what would have happened if Pegula was the Sabres owner during that uncapped era.  Would he have paid Peca?  Would he have paid Hasek?  

What would that team looked like with a few more seasons of Peca and Hasek, playing under Ruff while all three were at their peak?

We'll never know, because the owner couldn't pay the price for a couple more seasons of two of the biggest stars in franchise history.

 

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2 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

And if the Sabres had won that razor-thin series?

Dom is the greatest to play, ever, at his position (the position most able to affect single-game outcomes on their own, in this league). I expect more of him than I do a top 10 league 2020 centre. And, even he, the greatest of all time, couldn't quite get it done without an all-star cast. Just like Wayne in LA, right?

In truth you touch on it, here: I think the crux of the issue is people haven't been able to let go of his "generational" tag

Edited by Thorny
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1 hour ago, Thorny said:

Dom is the greatest to play, ever, at his position (the position most able to affect single-game outcomes on their own, in this league). I expect more of him than I do a top 10 league 2020 centre. And, even he, the greatest of all time, couldn't quite get it done without an all-star cast. Just like Wayne in LA, right?

In truth you touch on it, here: I think the crux of the issue is people haven't been able to let go of his "generational" tag

You don't know that he couldn't get it done.  We're still waiting for the puck to drop at the blue line to his left.  Get that next goal, & anything can happen in game 7.  😉

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Hasek was so very fun to watch. Even moreso because the Sabres teams in front of him were sometimes quite scoring-challenged so he had to be fun to watch.

I really, really would have loved to see Peca on that 00-01 squad. That iteration had serious depth. Baby Dumont, baby Afino, old-timers in Andreychuk and Gilmour. Gratton would have been the 4C with Peca present. We'll never know.

And always the caveats --- that '99 team was much better than given credit for. Three 2Cs and a 3/4C, fast wingers all around, really complementary defense, stymie-and-counterattack offense. But that Dallas Stars team was a star-studded roster. At that time in everyone's careers, up and down that lineup, I think you take the Stars player at nearly every position except Hasek (+ research: Stu Barnes over Carbonneau at 3C; and Satan over Jere Lehtinen at 1LW). And Belfour was no slouch either, especially with a Hitchcock shot-suppression system and the dead-puck era. (And Colorado and Detroit were even more loaded. We were massive underdogs for good reason no matter whom we played.) And always the dream -- let's magically heal everyone and go again. Give Grosek back a healthy back (he was a beast that season), give Satan back his foot, and give Modano back his wrist/hand. Rock and roll.

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4 hours ago, Kong said:

 Lesson learned: there is no shortcut to building a great franchise. You can't spend huge chunks of change on one or two great players. Do it right and then add the final pieces like Hasek in place to cement winning.

Well, I sort of agree but disagree. No, there is no shortcut, and huge salaries on a few players is definitely the wrong approach imo, if you are going to have one huge contract, star goalie is the position to spend that money on. Hasek leading the pluggers is the perfect example, as is Carey Price with Montreal right now. Great goaltending can take you further than great any other position. 

The almost cup with Hasek is always talked about but back in the 70s the only thing we didn't have was super goaltending. Ours was just okay. The bullies had the star goalie and we didn't. You switch goalies and we have that cup not them, Kate Smith and all. 

As I've said elsewhere, to right this franchise, goalie has to become a primary concern, not an afterthought as it has been for ages now. 

But back to Hasek, as much as he loved winning the cup in Detroit, I think his greatest hockey moment for himself was winning the gold.

3:44 mark, that save is just insane. 

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3 hours ago, jad1 said:

To be clear, Detroit was one of the biggest spenders in the pre-cap NHL, and used that money to pay big salaries as a means to win championships.

Detroit's success as a big-spending team was one if the factors that drove the league to a salary cap.

And Hasek wasn't the first Sabre to bail from that team.  Peca held out the season before, and the inability of the Rigas (who had bigger issues at the time) to pay its talent was one of the factors that drove Hasek to say he wanted out.  

That was followed by the Rigas' downfall and the Sabres were driven into bankruptcy.

When we talk about bad owners I often wonder what would have happened if Pegula was the Sabres owner during that uncapped era.  Would he have paid Peca?  Would he have paid Hasek?  

What would that team looked like with a few more seasons of Peca and Hasek, playing under Ruff while all three were at their peak?

We'll never know, because the owner couldn't pay the price for a couple more seasons of two of the biggest stars in franchise history.

 

I never understood why the Rigas' didn't pay Peca or any other players that we could have had. He was obviously a crook, using other peoples money, why not splurge on the team? 

3 minutes ago, PerreaultForever said:

Well, I sort of agree but disagree. No, there is no shortcut, and huge salaries on a few players is definitely the wrong approach imo, if you are going to have one huge contract, star goalie is the position to spend that money on. Hasek leading the pluggers is the perfect example, as is Carey Price with Montreal right now. Great goaltending can take you further than great any other position. 

The almost cup with Hasek is always talked about but back in the 70s the only thing we didn't have was super goaltending. Ours was just okay. The bullies had the star goalie and we didn't. You switch goalies and we have that cup not them, Kate Smith and all. 

As I've said elsewhere, to right this franchise, goalie has to become a primary concern, not an afterthought as it has been for ages now. 

But back to Hasek, as much as he loved winning the cup in Detroit, I think his greatest hockey moment for himself was winning the gold.

3:44 mark, that save is just insane. 

Amazing to me how few people talk about our goaltending situation and how dire it is.

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37 minutes ago, klos1963 said:

I never understood why the Rigas' didn't pay Peca or any other players that we could have had. He was obviously a crook, using other peoples money, why not splurge on the team? 

Amazing to me how few people talk about our goaltending situation and how dire it is.

 

Pretty sure it was because Timmy knew how tight their cash flows were as far as meeting margins on the shares they'd bought with the company's money.  Had they paid Peca, or what his equivalent value was in 2000 in terms of Iginla or other, the house of cards might have collapsed then rather than 2 years later.

Had the stock prices rebounded, or simply not dropped during that crash, they might have survived.  And their cooking the books on cable box sales might have been delayed far enough out to have avoided really crash the stock price.

Still to this day believe that John never fully grasped how things changed when they went from privately held to publicly held.  And he'd gotten his kids Ivy educations to be able to understand those changes for him.  A couple of the kids were huge crooks.  John was one too, but there's a possibility that he actually believed he wasn't one intentionally.

(Used to know the minutiae on that case very well.  (Another thing not thought about in years.)  Might have to see if the files survived the flood from a couple of years back.)

Edited by Taro T
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6 minutes ago, Kong said:

And to think he was a 10th round draft pick...

in 1983!  When the Steel Curtain was still fully functional & the Statsny's were the only defectors of any concern to have escaped from it.

At least Pulford was smart enough to not burn a 1st rounder on hopes a guy might defect.

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11 minutes ago, Kong said:

And to think he was a 10th round draft pick...

Ya, coincidentally, we took goalies that year. Barrasso and then Puppa in the same draft. 

They didn't scout those Euro leagues as much in those days and Hasek had a weird unorthodox style, Chicago was pretty much gambling when they drafted him. I doubt they ever thought he'd be much of anything. 

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15 minutes ago, PerreaultForever said:

Ya, coincidentally, we took goalies that year. Barrasso and then Puppa in the same draft. 

They didn't scout those Euro leagues as much in those days and Hasek had a weird unorthodox style, Chicago was pretty much gambling when they drafted him. I doubt they ever thought he'd be much of anything. 

I think Taro has it more right.  Noone exected a bunch of Soviet block players to defect.  The picks were serious gambles.

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3 minutes ago, Weave said:

I think Taro has it more right.  Noone exected a bunch of Soviet block players to defect.  The picks were serious gambles.

I think that's partially true, but there was some thought that the curtain was going up (as it did in fact) and several red army guys were drafted late that year too. I think Montreal picked Tretiak. It was a late round strategy. 

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3 minutes ago, PerreaultForever said:

I think that's partially true, but there was some thought that the curtain was going up (as it did in fact) and several red army guys were drafted late that year too. I think Montreal picked Tretiak. It was a late round strategy. 

It didn't go up for many years after.  Mogilny was drafted 5 years later and still needed to defect.  Hasek wasn't drafted earlier because scouting.  He was drafted so late because it was throwing away a pick for a low chance shot.

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Just now, Weave said:

It didn't go up for many years after.  Mogilny was drafted 5 years later and still needed to defect.  Hasek wasn't drafted earlier because scouting.  He was drafted so late because it was throwing away a pick for a low chance shot.

That's what I'm saying. They were gambling it might go up. Not that year, but sooner than later. It was a gamble in any event and the 10th round was gambling time. 

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2 minutes ago, PerreaultForever said:

That's what I'm saying. They were gambling it might go up. Not that year, but sooner than later. It was a gamble in any event and the 10th round was gambling time. 

Well, this exchange started because you said Chicago was gambling with a lack of info, not with a likelihood that he'd have to defect or the USSR would need to collapse 8 years later for the team to ever see him in person.

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50 minutes ago, Weave said:

Well, this exchange started because you said Chicago was gambling with a lack of info, not with a likelihood that he'd have to defect or the USSR would need to collapse 8 years later for the team to ever see him in person.

I am forever in awe of how nitpicky and exact this board demands at times. have fun. I'm out of this one. 

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Posted (edited)

I wasn't aware, though it might be predictable, that Hasek holds the NHL record for shutotouts in one month, six...in '97-98. That's about two shutouts a week. That's crazy.

Edited by Kong
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When hasek played you knew if the sabres scored 2, they were going to win. He carried that team, no doubt 

I saw on a show that he did not know he was drafted for a couple weeks after.

Edited by Mike Honcho
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7 hours ago, Kong said:

I wasn't aware, though it might be predictable, that Hasek holds the NHL record for shutotouts in one month, six...in '97-98. That's about two shutouts a week. That's crazy.

"A December to remember."

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On 6/16/2021 at 3:39 PM, Buffalonill said:

GOAT 

Agree.  I am not usually a "Buffalo homer", I tend to think Jim Kelly was very good but not great, I think Eichel is over-rated by a lot of people, I want to see Josh Allen have a 2nd great year before I proclaim his greatness....and to the dismay of many on this board I am one of those posters who usually says "put the brakes on a bit" when a conversation gets to how good someone on a Buffalo team is.

With that said, I think he is the greatest goalie of the modern era, by far better than Roy or Brodeur.  I will entertain a case he is the greatest player of the modern era (over Gretzky and Lemieux) because of just how dominant he was....how putting that one single player on an average-at-best looking team would turn them into a cup contender.

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