Later this year, Dominik Hasek will take his rightful place in the pantheon of Sabres greats as the team announced today that Hasek will have his #39 jersey retired on January 13, when the Sabres fittingly host the Detroit Red Wings.
Hasek was inducted into the Sabres Hall of Fame last season (also in a game versus Detroit) and will become the seventh member of the Sabres to have his jersey retired. While his time here ended controversially, there's no question that Hasek was one of the best, if not the best, to ever wear the blue and gold, and was named to our all-time Sabres team last summer, clearly his biggest accomplishment to date.
Read the team's full press release below, and give us your thought in the comments:
BUFFALO, N.Y. (October 20, 2014) --- The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team will officially retire the jersey of goaltender Dominik Hasek, one of the most prolific goaltenders in NHL history, in a ceremony scheduled to take place Jan. 13, 2015, prior to the team's home game against the Detroit Red Wings at First Niagara Center. Hasek, who was the fifth and final Sabres player to wear No. 39, will be the seventh player in franchise history to receive the honor of having his jersey retired to the rafters. He was inducted into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame on March 29 and will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 17.
Hasek will join six other Sabres legends who have had their jerseys officially retired from use by the team. Other retired jerseys include: Gilbert Perreault (No. 11, retired in 1990); Rick Martin (No. 7, retired in 1995); Rene Robert (No. 14, retired in 1995); Tim Horton (No. 2, retired in 1996); Danny Gare (No. 18, retired in 2005); and Pat LaFontaine (No. 16, retired in 2006).
Originally acquired by the Sabres from the Chicago Blackhawks on Aug. 7, 1992, Hasek remains as one of the most decorated goaltenders in league history, appearing in a total of 491 games for the Blue and Gold during a span of nine seasons from 1992-2001. While backstopping the Sabres, he became the first goaltender in NHL history to win the Hart Trophy twice (1997 & 1998), while also capturing six Vezina Trophies (1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999 & 2001) as well as the William M. Jennings Trophy (1994 & 2001) and the Lester B. Pearson Award twice (1997 & 1998).
During his time in Buffalo, Hasek held numerous franchise records and, upon his departure from the Sabres, owned the records for most all-time games played (491), wins (234), shutouts (55) and lowest career goals-against average (2.22). Hasek appeared in a career-high 72 games for the club in the 1997-98 season, setting a team record with 13 shutouts, only to follow that up with a career-best 1.87 GAA, .937 save percentage and a Stanley Cup Final berth in 1998-99.
After his time with the Sabres, he spent a total of four seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, where he earned a pair of Stanley Cup championships (2002 & 2008) and also suited up for the Ottawa Senators during the 2005-06 season.
When he retired from the NHL in 2008, Hasek finished with 389 career wins, and also ranked inside the top 10 in several statistical categories, including highest career save percentage (.922), most games played by a European born goaltender (735), most career shutouts (81) and lowest career goals-against average (2.13). In international competition, the Pardubice, Czech Republic native won a gold medal in the 1998 Winter Olympic Games and a bronze medal in the 2006 Games.