After failing to find an NHL team who wanted to take the 47-year-old on, Dominik Hasek announced his retirement from hockey today.
Hasek was arguably the greatest goaltender of his generation, with two Stanley Cups, two Hart Trophies, and six Vezina Trophies (the most since Jacques Plante). He also won a gold medal for the Czech Republic at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, with an otherworldly 0.97 GAA and 96.1 save percentage.
He was still in decent shape as he played overseas — first with HC Pardubice in the Czech Extraliga, and then Spartak Moscow in the KHL. However, the lockout and the lack of interest from NHL teams (though he was reportedly in talks with the Carolina Hurricanes and the Vancouver Canucks) forced his hand, according to Czech sports publication Sport (translation provided by the IIHF):
“It’s very sad,” Hasek told Sport. “But there is nothing you can do. I realized that it’s time to retire.”
Hasek will be remembered for his unique playing style which was technically “wrong” except in one crucial detail — he stopped the puck.