“I am extremely pleased to be able to create the Dominik Hasek Youth Hockey League that will assist young children in the city of Buffalo to learn the game of ice hockey. Buffalo has been very good to my family and me, and I want to be able to give something back to the community that will be recognizable for many years to come. The creation of this unique hockey program will give many children an opportunity to participate in a sport that otherwise they probably wouldn’t be able to play.”
Domink Hasek is born in 1965 in Pardubice, Czechoslovakia. He begins playing hockey at age five and by age 16, is playing professionally for HC Pardubice in the Czechoslovak Extraliga.
He is drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks after the team observes the young goaltender playing for the Czech National Team. Dominik continues to play in Czechoslovakia for several years, leading his team to championships, winning top goaltender awards and being named the league’s best player in 1987, 1989 and 1990.
Dominik makes his NHL debut – eight years after being drafted by the Blackhawks – and serves as backup goalie.
A trade to the Buffalo Sabres gives Dominik the opportunity to become the number one goalie, soon becoming a starter.
While playing for the Sabres, Dominik wins the first of his six Vezina Trophies. He also shares the Jennings Trophy with the Sabres’ Grant Fuhr and is runner up for the Hart Trophy.
Dominik is again awarded the Vezina Trophy and is a finalist for the Hart Trophy.
Once again, Dominik wins the Vezina Trophy and also takes home both the Hart Trophy and the Lester B. Pearson Award as the most valuable player as selected by the players.
After recording 13 shutouts, Hasek again is awarded the Vezina and both the Hart and Pearson as the NHL's top performer. He becomes the first goalie in NHL history to win the Hart twice.
Dominik wins his fourth consecutive Vezina Trophy with a career-best 1.87 goals-against average and a save percentage of .937. He was also a finalist for the both the Hart and Pearson trophies. That season, Hasek backstopped Buffalo to the Stanley Cup final against the Dallas Stars.
After considering retirement, Dominik returns to Buffalo, but misses most of the season with injuries.
Dominik rallies, winning his sixth Vezina Trophy, as well as the Jennings Trophy.
Prior to the start of the season, Dominik is traded to the Detroit Red Wings, where he enjoys a career-high 41 wins as Detroit finishes first overall and go on to win the Stanley Cup (over the Carolina Hurricanes).
Dominik’s six shutouts in post-season play set an NHL record. He decided in the off season to retire, with a desire to spend more time with his family.
In June, Dominik graciously donates $1 million to the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo to create Hasek’s Heroes, a program that allows inner city youth the opportunity to learn to skate and play hockey.
Dominik decides to return to the NHL and is welcomed back by the Red Wings.
Dominik is injured early in the season, and decides not to play out the season. When his contract expires – and with a desire to win another Stanley Cup - Dominik signs with the Ottawa Senators. Unfortunately, a season-long lock-out kept him from playing that year, but he returns to the Senators for the 2005-06 season. Dominik was injured during the Winter Olympics, forcing him to miss the remaining regular season games. The Senators were eliminated early in the playoffs and opted not to re-sign Dominik.
Dominik, at the age of 41, re-signs with Detroit, who finishes first in the Western Conference but is eliminated in the conference final. He again contemplates retirement, but signs for the 2007-08 season. For his efforts, Dominik is awarded the Jennings Trophy. That year, Detroit wins the Stanley Cup (defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins).
Dominik announces, in June, his retirement from the National Hockey League.
In April, Dominik announces he is back playing professional hockey, signing with HC Pardubice of the Czech Extraliga. A year later, he signs with Spartak Moscow of the KHL and plays one final season, announcing his retirement in October 2012.
Dominik Hasek is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The Buffalo Sabres retire Dominik Hasek’s #39 jersey prior to a game against the Detroit Red Wings.