Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Dominik Hašek (born January 29, 1965 in Pardubice, Czech Republic), often called The Dominator, is a professional ice hockey goalie; as of 2004, he plays for the NHL Ottawa Senators. He is by far the most successful European goaltender of all time, and is one of the top athletes to ever play the position.
Hašek was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in 1983, but didn't debut with them until the 1990-91 season. Hašek spent time as the backup to Ed Belfour, and only played 25 games over two seasons with the Blackhawks. During the summer of 1993, Hašek was traded to the Buffalo Sabres, where he blossomed into one of the NHL's top goaltenders. During his career, Hašek has won the Vezina Trophy for most outstanding goalie six times, and has won the Hart Memorial Trophy and Lester B. Pearson Award twice each. He led the NHL in save percentage six times, and has been named to the first team at the all star game five times.
At the 1998 Winter Olympics, Hašek led the Czech team to a gold medal, including a shutout of the Russian Federation team during the gold medal game. In 2001 Hašek, having won almost everything but a Stanley Cup, moved to the Detroit Red Wings, the odds-on favourites to win. Hašek's dreams were fulfilled and Detroit won both the Presidents' Trophy and the Stanley Cup.
That summer Hašek retired, but after sitting out a year he returned to Detroit. In the meantime, Detroit had signed Curtis Joseph and thus found itself with two expensive goaltenders, and no other team was willing to accept Joseph's large salary, leading to tension among the Red Wings. The 2003-2004 season was problematic for Hašek, as he suffered a number of groin injuries. On January 9, 2004, he and the team agreed he should rest his injured groin for two to four weeks. At that time, he told general manager Ken Holland that he would not accept any pay while he was out injured. However, he did not make his refusal of pay public at that time. On February 10, he announced that he was not going to continue to play this season, a decision that surprised Red Wing management. Then, on March 12, after Holland discussed Hašek's refusal of pay with reporters, Hašek made the issue public. He eventually refused $3 million (US) of his $6 million salary.
Hašek, despite being on of the greatest goaltenders of his generation, is also known as a problem player. In the middle of the 1996 playoffs he announced he would not play another game with the Sabres if coach Ted Nolan was not fired. Hašek carried out his threat and sat in the stands and saw the Sabres lose in the next round. Nolan did not return the next year, upseting many other Buffalo players that liked him. After the 2001 playoffs he demanded a trade or else he threatend to retire. He got his wish and was moved to the Red Wings.
In April 2004, he underwent groin surgery in Prague, and returned to his hometown of Pardubice to recuperate. On June 17, he told a Czech sports daily that he would not play for the Red Wings in the 2004-05 season (which, as it turned out, was canceled because of the league's current labor dispute). In the interview, Hašek said that he wanted to be on a club that could contend for the Stanley Cup, and specifically named the Ottawa Senators as a possible destination. The Senators later signed Hašek to a multiyear deal, but he has stated that if an agreement is not made on the 2005-2006 NHL season by the summer of 2005, he will retire from professional hockey.
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