Congratulations, Dominik

Archive:
Hasek

Tom McCollum won his first NHL game Sunday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Tom McCollum’s career was heading down the minor-league journeyman’s path, going nowhere fast.

Three years into professional hockey, the goalie was still shuttling between the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins and the ECHL Toledo Walleye. After his fourth season, the Detroit Red Wings declined to give him a two-way contract.

Instead, Detroit offered McCollum, the 30th pick in 2008, an AHL deal prior to the 2013-14 campaign. The Cambria native wasn’t even eligible for an NHL recall.

That made Sunday’s 46-minute relief …

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Sabres goalie Michal Neuvirth makes a stick save Tuesday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Not even watching legendary goalie Dominik Hasek, one of hockey’s all-time greats, have his No. 39 raised to the rafters could jumpstart the hapless Sabres, who have now lost a franchise-record eight consecutive games in regulation.

Right now, having dropped 12 of the last 13 contests, the Sabres are mired in perhaps the worst rut in their 44-year history.

The Sabres showcased more ugliness in Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat to Detroit Red Wings, getting throttled on special teams again.

“We’re killing ourselves,” …

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Dominik Hasek (right) is greeted by Rene Robert (14) and Danny Gare (18) prior to having his number retired Tuesday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Goalie Dominik Hasek had never picked his own number before the Sabres acquired him in 1992.

Back home in the Czech Republic, he was given No. 9 as a 16-year-old when a player got sick. When he came to North America in 1990, the Chicago Blackhawks gave him Nos. 31 and 34.

So shortly after he arrived, Hasek was shocked when equipment manager Rip Simonick approached him at a late-summer workout at Sabreland in Wheatfield.

“I still remember, it was my …

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Dominik Hasek can joke about "No Goal" now. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – For an entire season, legendary Sabres goalie Dominik Hasek and Brett Hull refused to discuss “No Goal,” Hull’s controversial overtime winner that clinched the Dallas Stars’ Stanley Cup triumph here in 1999.

“Brett Hull, I spent a year with him in Detroit, and in the whole season, we didn’t say one thing about that goal,” Hasek, whose No. 39 will be retired by the Sabres tonight, said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “We were good friends, we were …

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Dominik Hasek speaks to the media this morning. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Legendary Sabres goalie Dominik Hasek had never chosen his own number.

Back home in the Czech Republic, he was given No. 9 as a 16-year-old when a player got sick. When he came to North America in 1990, the Chicago Blackhawks gave him Nos. 31 and 34.

So shortly after the Sabres acquired him in 1992, Hasek was shocked when equipment manager Rip Simonick approached him at a late-summer workout at Sabreland in Wheatfield.

“I still remember, it was my first …

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Dominik Hasek will have his No. 39 retired tonight. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – One story about Dominik Hasek’s famously intense practice habits has become part of hockey folklore.

“I heard about it,” said Red Wings star Henrik Zetterberg, the Hall of Fame goalie’s teammate after the Sabres traded him to Detroit in 2001. “I’m not sure if it’s true.”

Legend has it Hasek was once so upset following a particularly bad practice, he spent the night in the training room. Never went home. Just stayed at the rink.

“It wouldn’t surprise me at all,” …

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Zac Dalpe has played 96 NHL games. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres forward Cody McCormick was released from the hospital today after being treated for a blood clot in his calf muscle, coach Ted Nolan said.

“Cross our fingers everything continues to go well,” Nolan said this afternoon following practice inside the First Niagara Center. “No timeframe on his return whatsoever. Our No. 1 concern is making sure he’s OK.”

With McCormick sidelined, the Sabres recalled centers Zac Dalpe and Phil Varone from Rochester this morning. Both participated in the team’s …

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Patrick Kaleta practiced again Friday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – For days, Sabres winger Patrick Kaleta looked out a window in his Hamburg home and had one thought, “Man, when is this going to end?”

As foot after foot of snow from Winter Storm Knife piled up, Kaleta, like most Southtowns residents, got trapped. He spent three days shoveling and helping people.

“There was nothing I could do,” Kaleta said Friday following practice inside the First Niagara Center. “As my neighbors’ kids would say, I’m pretty grumpy.”

Finally, Kaleta made it …

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Dominik Hasek will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame tonight. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – It was the dawn of the 1992-93 season, and the Sabres had just acquired Dominik Hasek, a raw, relatively unknown goalie from the Chicago Blackhawks.

Right away, Sabres coach John Muckler gave Mitch Korn, his goalie coach, a message about the unorthodox Czech netminder.

“He said, ‘This guy’s a little unique, so just leave him alone, and if he wants your help, he’ll just come to you, just work with the other guy,’” Korn said by phone Sunday from Toronto, …

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Tyler Ennis had a goal and three points Sunday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Tyler Ennis still remembers every little detail of Nov. 14, 2009, the day the slick Sabres winger made his NHL debut.

When Portland Pirates coach Kevin Dineen told Ennis the Sabres could recall him for a game in Philadelphia that night, the youngster left the rink – “It was like a 30-minute drive,” he said – and went home.

He needed to eat, so he “picked up a quick Subway sandwich.”

Ennis then packed. Dineen called and said the Sabres needed …

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