Hasek contemplates NHL comeback

The Dominator is considering a return to the NHL.

Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland confirmed Tuesday that retired goaltender Dominik Hasek is debating a comeback.

"While we have had discussions, at this time, no decision has been made by Dominik," Holland said in a statement.

"They continue to talk about it and we'll see how it goes," added Rich Winter, Hasek's agent.

Detroit retains an $8-million US option on Hasek's NHL services next season but, should it not be exercised by the team, he could become an unrestricted free agent.

The concern in Detroit is Hasek could replace the retired Patrick Roy in Colorado.

"Dominik is deciding exactly which direction he wants to go and, hopefully, I'll know very soon," Holland told Detroit radio station WJR.

Another problem, of course, is Curtis Joseph, who has two years remaining on a three-year, $24-million US contract which includes a no-trade clause.

Joseph replaced Hasek in Detroit last season and posted a 34-19-6 record with a 2.49 goals-against average and five shutouts in 61 regular-season games.

But Joseph was outplayed by Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jean-Sebastien Giguere as the Red Wings were swept by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"If Dominik comes back, it probably will be a sticky situation," Holland admitted.

"It's Kenny's worst nightmare," said one NHL general manager, referring to Red Wings GM Ken Holland. "What do you do with Hasek when you've got Curtis Joseph under contract for the next two years?

"You cannot have $17 million worth of goaltending. Plus, Hasek hasn't played in a year and a half."

Yet Hasek remains something Joseph is not one of the most decorated goaltenders in NHL history.

Hasek, 38, is a two-time winner of the Hart Trophy (1997, 1998) and a six-time recipient of the Vezina Trophy (1994, 1995, 1997-99, 2001).

Drafted in the 10th round 199th overall by Chicago in 1993, he went 288-189-80 with 61 shutouts, a 2.23 GAA and sparkling .924 save percentage in 581 games over 12 NHL seasons with the Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres and Red Wings.

Hasek won his lone Stanley Cup with Detroit in 2002 and promptly retired, claiming his career was complete.

with files from CP Online