Dominick Hasek announced his retirement this week, and as a longtime fan of the game, I'll say that he should be a first ballot hall of famer, and deserves nothing but praise for the seasons of excellent memories and plays he brought to the NHL.
After saying that, I'd also like to take a shot at Canada's TSN who celebrated his retirement with the following video:
What a pompous ass. OK- first of all, I know that Dominick Hasek can be kind of a jerk, and has suffered from shall we say "motivation problems" his entire career. But even with that, we're talking about unarguably one of top ten goaltenders of all time, easily top 5 and arguably top three. Hey TSN- you think you can cut the guy some slack on the day he announces his retirement?
Who knows what goes on in Canada, but I don't think I've ever, even once, EVER "heard" anybody ever do a Dominick Hasek impression. I've "seen" people do a ton of them, when street hockey goalies roll around on their spines, kicking their legs up in the air and call it "doing a Hasek." And when they do that, they are honoring the man and his unorthodox playing style, not mocking his foreign accent.
Second, Hasek falling down while trying to fight Patrick Roy isn't a career highlight, it's a blooper reel. Including that clip while ignoring the stop he made on Todd Bertuzzi's penalty shot in the 2002 playoffs seems to me like they are directly saying "We don't like Dominick Hasek, and are going to use his retirement from the game he made so much more exciting as one final chance to embarrass and poke fun at him."
Finally, giving a goaltender of his caliber a tribute in which your number one highlight shows him giving up a goal (not to mention a heartbreaking, controversial Stanley Cup losing goal) is just low class.
Don't get me wrong- I've poked fun at the Dominator over the years, but today is not the day.
For a more reasonable, respectful and in-depth retrospective of Hasek's career, including the high points along with the lows, check out the NY Times Slap Shot blog.
From everyone at American Hockey Fan, Congrats to Dominick Hasek on a fantastic career.