BUFFALO – The Sabres will retire legend Dominik Hasek’s No. 39 prior to the Jan. 13, 2015 game against the Detroit Red Wings, the team announced Monday.
Hasek, one of the greatest goalies in NHL history, will become the franchise’s seventh retired number.
The opponent holds some significance. Hasek played four seasons in Detroit, winning two Stanley Cups. The Sabres traded Hasek to Detroit in 2001.
The Czech will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 17. The Sabres inducted him into their Hall of Fame on March 29.
The Sabres announced last season Hasek’s number would be retired.
Top prospect Sam Reinhart, a healthy scratch last game, will play on the Sabres’ upcoming three-game California trip, coach Ted Nolan said Monday.
Nolan wouldn’t say if the center will dress Wednesday in Anaheim.
He believes sitting the 18-year-old for Saturday’s 4-0 loss to Boston helped him.
“Today is another good day,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center. “I thought maybe having that day off he had a little bit more jump in practice. He was a little bit more attentive. He seemed a little bit more relaxed, a little bit of weight got taken off his shoulders.
“But the one thing that’s really impressive, he’s a student of the game. He asks us questions. He wants to discuss certain things. When you have that attitude, you’re going to get better.”
Reinhart, the No. 2 pick in June, can play nine games before his contract kicks in. He’s pointless in five games.
Meanwhile, the 1-5 Sabres, fresh off two weekend shutout losses, enjoyed a strong practice Monday.
“All the practices we’ve had so far, this was probably the most attentive that we’ve been,” Nolan said. “I don’t know if it’s (going) on the road, being together. But we’re going to work this thing through and we’re going to get through it. We just got to be patient. We can’t get too many panic buttons. It’s only six games in.”
Getting away for six days will be nice, Sabres winger Drew Stafford said.
“This is going to be a good break for us as well, spend some time as a team away from the rink, build a little bit more chemistry, get to know each other a little bit better, have some fun,” he said. “Hopefully, that can carry over to the ice.”
Nolan said winger Patrick Kaleta, who’s recovering from a scary facial injury, will travel to California. Kaleta likely won’t play for another couple of weeks, Nolan said.
Kaleta has been practicing with a full shield. A puck hit him in the face Sept. 28.
Nolan will coach against his son, Jordan, a Kings forward, for the first time Thursday in Los Angeles.
“I haven’t seen Jordan for a few months, I’m really looking forward to seeing him. Coaching a game against him is going to be different, but I’m really looking forward just to seeing him.”