I remember waking up on the morning of this day, and becoming utterly shocked at what I saw. I was watching The Score, and at the bottom it read that Dominik Hasek was no longer a Buffalo Sabre.
In return, Buffalo received Vyacheslav Kozlov, a first round pick in the 2002 draft, and future considerations. "Slava" was a great talent, but only played 38 games with the Sabres before moving to Atlanta the next season. Hasek was the reason I became a Sabres fan.
His unorthodox style, flexibility, and constant highlight reel saves were a treat to watch. He would make saves that other goalies wouldn't dream of making. Toe stops, snagging pucks from behind his back, and the "Hasek roll" (where he would roll on his back and stop the puck) were among his outstanding saves.
There were many games where Buffalo was out shot pretty badly, but still got the W because of the extraordinary goaltending of the "Dominator". During his years in Buffalo, Dominik won two Hart Memorial Trophies, two Lester B. Pearson Awards, six Vezinas, and two William M. Jennings Trophies.
He would win two Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings before retiring this summer. I can understand Dom's decision to leave, especially after the Sabres got cheated out of the 1999 Stanley Cup Final. Brett Hull scored the winning goal with his foot in the goal crease, and after video reviews, the goal was still upheld.
"Maybe the video goal judge was in the bathroom," Hasek said. "Maybe he was sleeping. Maybe he doesn't know the rule." Dominik Hasek played his best hockey in Buffalo, by far. I just want to thank him for the great memories, giving it his all every game, and being the heart of this Sabres squad. Sabres fans will never forget the “Dominator”.