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Hasek’s agent on NHL comeback: “He will play, and he will excel”

Jul 13, 2012, 11:33 AM EST

Dominik Hasek Detroit

According to Ritch Winter — the agent representing 47-year-old goalie Dominik Hasek — there’s no backup plan for his comeback to the NHL.

The NHL is the plan.

“He will play,” Winter told ProHockeyTalk. “There is no option. He will play and he will excel and he will do all of the things he can do.

“That’s his view of it. There’s one objective, and that’s it — he won’t fail.”

Winter claims he’s already fielded interest from “about a half dozen” NHL clubs about the two-time league MVP.

(Note: Toronto was not one of those teams — “It doesn’t look like a spot,” Winter said.)

There’s a high curiosity factor in Hasek’s comeback, primarily because he’s one of the greatest goalies ever.

There’s also the fact Hasek plays a position where age doesn’t factor as much as, say, forward or defense. Martin Brodeur played in the 2012 Stanley Cup finals a month after turning 40; in 2011, Dwayne Roloson (41) became the oldest goalie in league history to post a playoff shutout.

(At 45, Hasek won a Czech league title — and playoff MVP — with Pardubice. At 46, he led the KHL with seven shutouts.)

There’s also his notorious fitness regime. Winter says that, even at 47 — he’ll turn 48 in January — Hasek’s maintained all his capacities and skills from his glory years in Buffalo.

“He’s done all of the stuff you’d expect a NASA scientist to do before they go into a venture like this,” Winter explained. “He’s measured his reflexes, he’s measured his reaction time and it’s identical to what it was at the time he won a number of Vezina trophies. He’s actually 1.6 pounds off his playing weight at the Nagano Olympics [in 1998].

“Who keeps records like that? I guess Dom. Who knows their body, does reaction time and reflex training and measurement? I guess Dom.”

Finally — and perhaps most importantly — there are the expectations Hasek has for himself. A noted perfectionist, he always held himself to an exceptionally high standard during his playing days…and that doesn’t seem to have changed during his time off.

“[Hasek] feels confident that he can be considerably better than any backup in this league,” Winter said. “He thinks he can push to be in the bottom-half of the top third of the league.

“That’s his view.”

Related

Report: Hasek looking for a multi-year deal

Current, former goalies think Hasek could return to NHL

  1. redwingsfan999 - Jul 13, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Hasek is 47, he’s too old 2 have a starting role and I can’t see him playing more than 40 games @ best, his body won’t be able 2 take it

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 13, 2012 at 3:01 PM

      You can write ‘too’ but ‘to’ and ‘at’ are not doable?

  2. jpelle82 - Jul 13, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    they forgot to mention his Progene regimen.

  3. dclogicatlast - Jul 13, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    Perfect backup for bryz. Sign him Philly and then make him the starter in the playoffs!

  4. dolanster - Jul 13, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    He’s an interesting option for a backup who can pick up 20+ games and be a presence with young guys however. Toronto? Chicago? Boston? LA? Detroit? If he comes cheaply enough (like 2-years at $1.5M or something), not a bad deal.

    • balewsquare - Jul 13, 2012 at 1:55 PM

      That’s exactly what I was thinking. At worst, you’d have to think he’d be a below average backup (skill wise). With his dedication and work ethic, isn’t that the veteran presence you’d want to surround a young guy with? I agree with TOR, CHI, and BOS, and I’ll throw in TB.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 13, 2012 at 3:00 PM

        Rask has had the veteran presence of thomas long enough. Cant really rule out Tampa but I’d say if he signs it would be with the Leafs or the Hawks, and the Leafs are the most desperate of the bunch.

    • jrsaffell - Jul 13, 2012 at 4:33 PM

      Detroit is a solid NO. They’re trying to trade Joey Mac because they got the Monster.

  5. Bliss Fortress - Jul 13, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Stanley B. will bring him back to the team that originally drafted him and by Christmas he will have usurped Crawford as #1. Then of course, he will injure his groin right before the playoffs start, and with Crawford in net, Hawks will lose in 6 to upstart Oilers squad lead by top line of former #1 picks.

  6. jrsaffell - Jul 13, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Do it Burke!

  7. kingfooj - Jul 13, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    finally something interesting! I cant wait to see how this unfolds

  8. wingsfan40 - Jul 13, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    guys he is way to old yes he might HAVE been the best goalie in the league once but. you gotta remember that was 3 years ago or longer he wont be able to keep up with the young players and no team needs him yes teams need goalies but not him hes to old if he were to play his GAA would be terrible he to old and you gotta remember this

  9. proudliberal85392 - Jul 13, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    You have to admit, Hasek returning is an interesting notion for speculation.

  10. claysbar - Jul 13, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    Edmonton. What do they have to lose?

  11. dolanster - Jul 13, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    He’s not going to be a #1 anywhere, and if he’s smart he knows that. It doesn’t mean he couldn’t be a key piece to an already good team that needs to give their starter enough rest to go far in the playoffs. He’s no threat to take a 20-something year old kid’s job away, and what goalie wouldn’t want to be on the ice with Hasek in practice and here his analysis of games and opponents. I agree Rask doesn’t need it, but it couldn’t hurt (and you’d have him in Boston to work with Khudobin and Subban). Even LA if they move Bernier could use him behind Quick, who is the only guy remotely similar to his style now active.

    Agree with Balew — add Tampa to the list. If it’s a reasonable money figure he makes sense in a lot of places. If he wants starter money and a deal longer than 2 years he’s dreaming.

  12. jrsaffell - Jul 13, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    Winter says no on Toronto which I think Burke would be crucified by the fans (as if they don’t hate him already) if got Hasek, but really come on, Leafs have the cap room and he isn’t going to cost hardly anything. Hasek would be a better goalie coach than Allair ever could be and he could win a few games too!

  13. buffalo65 - Jul 13, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    Top 5 all time goalie, love him or hate him. It’s a fact.

  14. kellanmarr - Jul 13, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    Unless he drops the 4-year requirement for a contract, no one is going to sign him.

  15. paledevil - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    If you think about it, A hockey season is an entity of itself. So if he really wants it, if the agent does get clever Makes it a 1 year incentive based with 3 year by year options
    That Of course does not allow for avoiding cap issues by signing the front end loader contracts that are so popular nowadays

  16. nygdriveforfive - Jul 13, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    As a Sens fan I remember him refusing to play on a sore groin when the Sens needed him the most. Cost us the cup! Just go back to beating up guys in the rec league Dom.

  17. Doesnotmatter - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:11 AM

    Howson ? Where are you? This is your NHL caliber goalie with tons of experience. Get him.

  18. Doesnotmatter - Jul 14, 2012 at 4:08 AM

    and he’s only 47.

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