Monday, July 31, 2006


Hey, Rocky watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!

The Detroit Red Wings have taken the hockey world by surprise by signing UFA goaltender Dominik Hasek to a one year deal. Terms of the contract have yet to be released.
This is pretty shocking stuff! I think the Wings need to give their heads a shake. After losing Steve Yzerman to retirement and Brendan Shanaham to free agency, the time was ripe for a youth movement in Hockeytown. It definitely begs questions concerning Manny Legace. After posting a record of 37-8-3 and a 2.19 GAA, his play dropped in the playoffs, and the Red Wings were upset by the Oilers in the first round. It was Legace's first stint as a starter after years of being a faithful backup.

Could off ice behavior factor into this decision?

By turning to Hasek, the Wings may be opening old wounds. The 41 year old former "Dominator" injured his left adjucator muscle while playing for Czechoslovakia in the 2006 Olympics and never returned between the pipes with the Ottawa Senators. His rehab was openly questioned in the media as his convalescence became a daily soap opera. Hasek would state one day that he felt he would be able to play in a week, and declare the next that he was unable to perform certain basic manoevers. In light practices, he would coil from bending his knees and then declare he would not play until he was 110% healthy. Come playoff time, certain teammates felt he could have stepped in at a moments notice. One well founded rumour had Hasek holding out for his bonus money up front before agreeing to suit up.

The Red Wings are familiar with this sideshow. He pulled similar stunts with them in 2004 after appearing in only 14 games The Wings had signed FA Curtis Joseph in goal for the 2002-03 season. Following a rough start the next season, Hasek came out of retirement and appeared in a handful of games before bailing on the team. By the new year, he was forced out of the picture as co-habitation with Joseph had become a major distraction in Motor City.

Curiously, Detroit's three Stanley Cup wins in the last decade came while being backstopped by different goalies. In 1997, Mike Vernon led the way. In 1998, current Wings tender Chris Osgood raised the Cup. In 2002 Hasek realized his dream of hoisting the mug. Hasek promptly retired after the season, a hero in Detroit.
The Red Wings are notorious for playing the blame-the-goalie game. They have ample ammunition this time. Time will tell whether Hasek's health becomes an issue again. His play between the pipes, the Wings have decided, is apparently less concerning than the five-hole between his ears!


Zanstorm said...

I don't think Hasek will recover. This was a mistake, but that's ok! I don't like Detroit! It's someone else's turn in the damn spotlight!

reality check said...

Makes things interesting for sure! I have some kinda inborn affinity with most original sixers, I feel when they are doing well, hockey is well.

zanstorm said...

Well, I WILL root for Boston. Poor bastards have been shamed for so long by shitty management. I like their team this year. I respect Detroit's legacy, but hate the godamn team!
Just watched the Habs / Kings game 5 of the 93 Final. Good stuff! How about that Dipietro/Dionne/Leeman line! Pretty damn good for a 3rd line! Dipietro was on fire!

reality check said...

Dipietro was even better in game six versus the Nords that year, I still don't get what happened with that guy. That team had some awesome youth. It was a surprise winner that year but looking back there was lots of talent there.

I like seeing Boston do well also, just not against the Habs LOL. They rarely do anyways. Only times they ever beat us was when they had Cam Neely.

I'm still very suspicious of that Chara - Chiarelli deal and how a team with no acting GM is able to make the first and biggest signing about an hour into the FA season. That whole situation is a mess swept under the rug by Bettman I think.

Wardo said...

This is Hasek's third go-round with Detroit, not his second. Where's the little rhyme for that?

Detroit knows what it's getting into. It's not like there were all kinds of awesome options out there. They landed a first-ballot HOF goalie who played like the Vezina was his last year before he got hurt for $750K. Not bad considering their cap situation.

I think Ottawa fans would explode with rage if Hasek manages to succeed in Motown.

He's a major injury risk, but for this contract, Detroit is gambling nothing. If Hasek craps out, they just get another guy. Like I said - who else is available right now?

reality check said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
reality check said...

The twice refers to it being the 2nd time he will fool them! This deal could work brilliantly or combust halfway through. Hasek's personality and injury potentional are the wild cards here. You are correct though, either way Detroit ought to know what pile they are steping in.

daisy bomb said...

A time bomb. That's what Hasek is.

Legace's so called playoff failure was the teams as well. This blame it all the goalie excuse has gotten tired. Lagace's numbers last year were excellent and earned and deserves better. Maybe it is money demands that are keeping him from being signed somewhere.

Hodge said...

Imagine the sigh of relief from Osgood when he found out it was Hasek and not Biron or better coming in.

reality check said...

He was destined to the backup either way, but he will have more of an opportunity to wrestle a starters job with hasek there.

slyon thefly said...

hasek is done. well see if he can break his record of 15 games with out a groin pull