By Mike Harrington
TAMPA, Fla. -- The Sabres Hall of Fame Selection Committee today announced that goaltender Dominik Hasek will be inducted as the Hall's 42nd member in a ceremony on March 29, prior to the team’s home game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at First Niagara Center.
Hasek for Stephane Beauregard, a trade with Chicago on Aug. 7, 1992, remains one of the most lopsided in NHL history. When his Buffalo career ended in 2001, Hasek owned team records for most games played (491), wins (234), shutouts (55) and lowest career goals-against average (2.22).
Hasek appeared in a career-high 72 games in the 1997-98 season, setting a team record with 13 shutouts. In the 1998-99 Stanley Cup final season, Hasek had a career-best 1.87 GAA and .937 save percentage.
(An aside here: In response to many inquries, the Sabres confirmed to me this not a jersey retirement ceremony. This is Hasek's induction to the team's Hall, like we've seen with the recent likes of Dave Andreychuk and Alexander Mogilny. We all know that at some point No. 39 is going to the rafters. Another season, perhaps?)
Just a couple of hours before the Sabres' announced new goaltender Michal Neuvirth said Hasek was his idol growing up in the Czech Republic upon joining the team for a brief pregame skate here.
Hasek won Stanley Cups with Detroit in 2002 and 2008. When he retired from the NHL in 2008, he had 389 career wins and had highest career save percentage (.922), most games played by a European born goaltender (735), most career shutouts (81) and lowest career goals-against average (2.13).