Buffalo Sabres to retire Dominik Hasek’s number

  • Joe Ray
dominik hasek

Dominik Hasek’s number 39 will be retired by the Sabres next season. (David Duprey/The Associated Press)

For nine seasons, Dominik Hasek won the admiration and awe of city of Buffalo as the Sabres’ goaltender. Now, the team has decided to honor one of the franchise’s top players by retiring his jersey.

The Sabres announced today, while Hasek was in town, that the team will be retiring Hasek’s number 39 jersey and sending another rafter to the banners. Hasek is currently in Buffalo, as he is being inducted into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame prior to Saturday’s contest against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The jersey retirement will not take place until the 2014-15 season, however.

During his nine-year tenure with the Sabres, Hasek was one of the NHL’s most decorated goaltenders. Hasek won the Vezina Trophy as the League’s best goaltender six times (1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001). In two of those years (1997 and 1998), Hasek also won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL MVP, in addition to the Lester B. Pearson Award as the League’s MVP as voted by the NHL Player’s Association.

Hasek made it to the Stanley Cup Finals with the Sabres in 1999, but the team lost in six games to the Dallas Stars on a call that still lives in Sabres infamy. Hasek would later win two Stanley Cup championships in 2002 and 2008, both with the Detroit Red Wings.

Over his complete 16-year NHL career, Hasek posted a goals-against average of 2.20 and a save percentage of .922, both of which are better than any other NHL goaltender who played at least 500 games. Hasek also finished with 81 shutouts and a career record of 389-223-82. Hasek’s 735 games played are also more than any other European goaltender in NHL history

In addition to his stellar play on the ice, Hasek was extremely involved off the ice in Buffalo. His charity, Hasek’s Heroes, continues to help children from low- to moderate-income families get the chance to play hockey and inspire kids to chase their dreams.

Hasek was revered for his somewhat unorthodox style in which he would make crazy saves by using his great flexibility to flop all over the ice. Take a look back at some of the highlights from the one they call the Dominator:

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