Hasek to retire without CBA by summer
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Goaltender Dominik Hasek plans to retire this summer if the labour dispute between the NHL and the players' association isn't resolved.
"There is too much uncertainty, and I don't know what is going to happen," the 40-year-old said Saturday. "I'm eager to get back on the ice and play great hockey for one more year. That's my goal. But if it lingers, and the agreement is not signed by the summer, my kids will go back to school in the Czech Republic and I won't play hockey any more."
Last summer, Hasek signed a one-year contract worth $2 million with the Ottawa Senators. He could've made $4 million if the Senators won the Stanley Cup.
The deal reunited Hasek with Senators general manager John Muckler, who was the GM at Buffalo when Hasek was with the Sabres.
"I talked to John Muckler and he wants me to play, and I definitely want to play one more season," Hasek said. "But if there is no agreement in the summer, I cannot play next year."
Hasek, a five-time Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL's top goaltender, also ruled out playing in the Czech Republic.
"The NHL was everything for me, and my dream is to win the Stanley Cup one more time," he said. "No, I won't play hockey. My concentration is to be in the NHL."
Hasek retired after helping the Detroit Red Wings win the Stanley Cup in 2002, saying his desire to play was lost. After a year away, Hasek decided to make a comeback and signed with the Red Wings for the 2003-04 season.
He was limited to 14 games because of a groin injury.
Hasek originally planned to retire after the 1999-2000 season when he was a member of the Sabres, but put that off after he missed most of the year due to another groin injury.
He was in Buffalo on Saturday to attend to his charitable foundation, Hasek's Heroes, that provides underprivileged kids a chance to play hockey.
Now he is hopeful an agreement can be reached in time for him to have a final season.
"I'm still optimistic," he said. "There are many players, if you talk to them, that are not optimistic. But I hope there is a chance to sign a deal within the next two, three or four months and get ready for the next season."