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Goaltender faces old team tonight
Dave Waddell, Windsor Star
Tuesday, December 12, 2006


DETROIT - Dominik Hasek harbors no bitterness toward the Ottawa Senators.

Just thanks.

The 41-year-old netminder, who was blamed by some in the Senators' organization for the team's playoff collapse last year, will face the Senators tonight at Joe Louis Arena for the first time since Ottawa let him go.

"I was very disappointed when they didn't sign me again," Hasek said.

"However, there's no bitterness. I understood that situation.

"They decided to go in a different direction and I don't have any bad feelings against management or any players.

"However, I feel good when our team, at this point, is better than that team."

Hasek has always maintained this season wasn't about proving the Senators wrong.

He claims he got along well with everyone in the Senators' locker-room and Ottawa coach Bryan Murray's public statement that he wanted no part of Hasek hardly seems to have made an impression on the Wings' goalie.

"Maybe I didn't read all the newspapers or all the quotes," Hasek said. "I didn't really hear from anyone they blamed me. I know the coach said after the season maybe it's time to go in a different direction.

"I think it was more his decision than the GM's decision that he didn't want me over there. I didn't have problems in the locker-room."

However, Hasek's new teammates shake their heads over the Senators' decision to let him walk.

Though he did a similar disappearing act with a groin injury while with Detroit in 2004, the Wings welcomed back Hasek, who backstopped them to their last Stanley Cup in 2002.

Hasek has rewarded the Wings with a league-low 1.84 goals against average this season.

Should he maintain that average, it would be a career low for him.

"Whether Murray and Ottawa were frustrated with him, I think it was a stupid move to get rid of Dom when he was still playing at the top of his game," Wings defenceman Chris Chelios said.

"Things happen and everyone looks for a scapegoat and an excuse and Dom seemed to be the guy last year.

"We're so lucky to get him and at the price ($750,000 US) that we did is incredible.

"If it inspires him to stick it to them who knows. If it was me, I'd like to stick it to them."

The 44-year-old defenceman singled out the Ottawa management for violating one of the founding principles of team sports in pointing fingers after the season.

"I don't know so much about his teammates (comments)," Chelios said.

"I think maybe they felt the need to back management, but if any player did do that, then they're not a good teammate.

"As far as management, some people don't go down with the ship. They like to save their own butt."

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we are lucky to have a goaltender in Dominik Hasek, the guy has been one of my favorites growing up, Hopefully he continues to do well!

he got pelted that night, because i mean come on it was like 19 shots.. and we lost! how aweful.
 
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