Hasek hopes to land in 2014 HHOF class
Six-time Vezina winner helped Red Wings to 2002 Stanley Cup title
While the latest inductees still are enjoying their new spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame, one potential member of next year's Hall induction class already is looking forward to a trip to Toronto in November 2014.
Dominik Hasek, who last played in 2010-11 for Spartak in the Kontinental Hockey League, will be on the Hall ballot for the first time next year.
"I don't exactly know the rules ... when the players are eligible for the Hockey Hall of Fame induction," Hasek told NHL.com. "But I can say that I am not planning to play hockey anymore, so from this point of view I am probably eligible. I know it's a big event and achievement. It would be a great honor."
Hasek certainly has Hall of Fame-worthy credentials. He won the Vezina Trophy six times and the Hart Trophy twice and skated in six NHL All-Star games. He had 389 wins and 81 shutouts in 735 games with the Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres, Red Wings and Ottawa Senators. He also went 65-49 in 119 Stanley Cup playoff games, and backstopped the Red Wings to the 2002 Stanley Cup.
He represented his native Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic at four Olympics, including 1998, the first time NHL players took part. Hasek was named the Olympic's best goalie while leading the Czech Republic to the gold medal. He helped the Czechs win a bronze medal in 2006.
Hasek left the NHL after the 2008 playoffs, when he backed up Chris Osgood en route to the Red Wings winning the Stanley Cup. He sat out the 2008-09 season, then returned to play one season each with HC Pardubice in the Czech Republic and Spartak in the KHL. Hasek made one final attempt to return to the NHL last summer, but found no interested teams.
Now 48, Hasek is living in Prague and enjoying other athletic pursuits, among them skiing, automobile racing and cycling with friends around exotic countries like Albania and India.
He said he hasn't been back to North America in a while, but would love to visit again next November.
"I haven't visited North America this year, probably for the first time in many years," he said. "But I am planning to go in the spring. It would be nice to make another visit next fall."