The Truth is Finally Told about Hasek

A local Detroit TV station (WDIV Channel 4) today showed an interview with Detroit Red Wing GM Ken Holland where Holland set the record straight on Detroit Red Wing Dominic Hasek abruptly walking away from hockey in Detroit for the rest of this season, and perhaps for good.

On January 9th of this year, Hasek approached Ken Holland and told him that he will no longer accept a pay check from the Red Wings because he felt that his injuries were keeping him from contributing to the team’s success. Hasek was frustrated over a nagging groin injury that had sidelined him since November. Holland talked about what a class act Hasek is to hand back $3 million of his $6 million contract when, under the terms of his contract, he was entitled to the full $6 million whether he was injured or not.

Personally, I think Hasek is an eccentric who demands perfection of himself. His off ice workouts are notoriously grueling. I’ve heard through a Red Wing physical therapist that at a Red Wing practice after Hasek had initially recovered from the groin injury last fall, the Wings couldn’t put the puck past him. The Red Wings smiled, figuring he was ready to come back. Instead, Hasek skated off the ice shaking his head saying that there’s something wrong. The Red Wing players and coaches were baffled.

I know a lot of folks have bashed Hasek, calling him selfish and a mercenary, who came out of retirement to take the money and run. I guess many of us were wrong about Hasek.

I’m trying to think of other athletes who have given their salaries back to their team because they were disappointed with their ability to contribute to the team. Right now, I’m drawing a blank. Can anyone here identify any athlete in any sport that has refused his salary the way Hasek did?

47 Responses to The Truth is Finally Told about Hasek

  1. bignorth says:

    I have to agree that this is completely unselfish. Next Hasek will fast for 40 days and donate blood to the American Red Cross.

    Then he will become a missionary and travel to South America.

  2. leafs2003champs says:

    Ray barque always took what the chep ass B’s management would give him and played his hart out for that team

  3. Lint07 says:

    Certainly not the way Hasek did, but 2 or 3 years ago Daniel Alfredsson offered to take a pay cut to help the Senators and trade for a big name around the deadline.

    Those stories are a minority unfortunately.

    btw, I don’t know but if I was Hasek and I knew I don’t need this 3M$ and that the Wings are doing just fine financially I would’ve taken the money and give it to different foundations or something… you know, someone that really needs it.

  4. daredevil says:

    I guess Hasek was serious about making a come back in hockey, but it just didn’t work out.

    Let’s see…other injured NHLers who refused their salaries. Um…Mario Lemieux? No. Eic Lindros? No. Bobby Orr? No. OK, I give up.

    Most injured athletes are on a bicycle asking, “Where’s my check?”

  5. Wills says:

    Hasek is a good guy. I live near the Buffalo area and know about all the community and charity work he use to do, so I have no doubt about what kind of person he is. I’ve seen him work with kids before, and the guy is a class act and you can tell he does what he does because he cares. He took a lot of heat this year because he is a competitor and wanted to come back. Hasek cares about the Red Wing orgainzation and is a honest person in a sport that has become a business.

  6. Wills says:

    Hasek is a good guy. I live near the Buffalo area and know about all the community and charity work he use to do, so I have no doubt about what kind of person he is. I’ve seen him work with kids before, and the guy is a class act and you can tell he does what he does because he cares. He took a lot of heat this year because he is a competitor and wanted to come back. Hasek cares about the Red Wing orgainzation and is a honest person in a sport that has become a business.

  7. dvast8 says:

    lol, if hasek is such a good guy, why didn’t he come back and ask for his rights to be given to a team that doesn’t have a established #1.

    like maybe his old team(s) ? or the avs.

  8. Habfanforever says:

    I’m rather skeptical. Maybe he’s just trying to polish up a tarnished reputation. Come on, it’s not the first time he gets injured, would he have done this 3-4 years ago too? I don’t think so. He’s already a multimillionnaire, a few hundred thousand less in his pocket won’t bother him so I think this “good guy” attitude is all a show.

  9. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    Personally this sounds too nice to be true, at least about Hassek. They are probabley just saying this so that no one will hate Hassek for what he did to Cujo.

  10. sean71 says:

    I believe Daniel Alfredson of the Sens sacrificed some of his salary for the team, tho i cant remember the cir*****stances……..happened last year while trhe team was in financial difficulties

  11. NYR-Rangers says:

    I think it’s a show too.

  12. Petr89 says:

    What is much more common than this instance, and what Alfreddson did a while ago, is deferring salary until a bit later. This means that he allowed the club to not pay him right now, but to get him back later. Lemieux did that for years with the penguins, and, instead of finally getting paid, he put the owed money towards buying the club. Yzerman and a few other wings did the same a few years ago when the club added hull and robitaille in one year. Hasek, on the other hand, won’t take any money at all.

  13. Petr89 says:

    I agree that it does seem strange, but a few hundred thousand and a few million is a different story. I’m naturally a little skeptical of the man myself, but I don’t think it’s impossible that he’s just kind of misunderstood.

    Now, I’m not shedding any tears for the guy, but I think he’s just an intense, impersonal, competitive guy. He definitely acts arrogant at times, and I think he’s kind of socially challenged, but there’s no denying his passion and skill. And, in light of this development, he seems to have a pretty damn good sense of fairness.

    Finally, I just don’t know what his motivations would be to put on a “good guy” show at this point. He’s never acted too concerned with his public image in Detroit or Buffalo, his career is almost over, and it’s likely he’ll go back to the Czech Rep. when he’s done here. So, who exactly is the audience for the show?

  14. rrudd says:

    screw the avs

  15. ORIGINAL-6 says:

    Excellent Business decision, How can you sell Dominator gear in Detroit if everyone hates,

    good for you Dom, pack up your shit & go back to the Chezc rep. You have already done enough to peoples lives here in Detroit, thank you for 2002, NOW GO HOME!!!

  16. MNWinger39 says:

    Even thought some of your comments in the past have really pi$$ed me off, I totally agree with you. Yes Dom, you won a Cup with us, but your no good anymore that year took it out of you. DOnt screw us anymore, get outta here. I think we can do it with Cujo, he had a great game against the BLue Jackets making some teriffic saves.

  17. The_Conductor says:

    Kariya is playing for 1.5 million i think? Well thats good on his behalf. Lemieux also was only playing for 1 millionish when he came back too.

    As for us being wrong about that cancer known as Hasek. Bull. I know a good source who knows some people in the Detroit organization… and he told me that Hasek went to Dave Lewis or someone like that and said…

    “I dont want Joseph talking to any of my players”. So not taking the rest of his contract… who cares… They were wasting thier money on him anyways.

  18. The_Conductor says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head.

  19. ORIGINAL-6 says:

    What comments are you talking about???

  20. ORIGINAL-6 says:

    Maybe you shouldn’t watch Red wings hockey then, I think movies on the Lifetime channel are more up your alley!

  21. mattf says:

    wasn’t he already paid half of his 6million dollar salary? wow, WHAT A NICE GUY

    3million for 11 games? NOT A BAD DEAL AT ALL. while also causing tonnes of unnessessary problems with cujo and legace – he should have done them the ultimate favour and admit his return was a big mistake, move to russia and get into fistfights in minor league hockey.

  22. Wills says:

    If your going to make smart ass comments, try to at least make the comments funny. That way I’m laughing with you, instead of laughing at you.

  23. bruinexpert says:

    good example…but barque?

  24. JeffBurnz09 says:

    Say what you want about Hasek, and alot of it is probably true, but this was a class thing of him to do. True, he already got 3 million for 11 games, so its not like he’s poor, but he could have gotten the whole 6 million if he wanted.

    So he’s hurt and cant play, so instead of drain money from the team he gives it back….Lemieux should take notice…..

  25. NHLER21 says:

    Nobody cares about what you think you white trash detroit hood rat aka bignorth.

  26. bignorth says:

    Dude, enough is enough.

  27. SwiftLEAF says:

    Look, no one should read into this as “the truth coming out” about Hasek and he’s actually a saint. Judging by his past, this is irregular and is nothing but a PR move.

  28. SwiftLEAF says:

    O.K, he might be a nice guy but Ccme on.

    Can you spell PR?

    In the laast year or so he commited a criminal act in his home country and came into detroit and turned everything upside down.

  29. SwiftLEAF says:

    O.K, he might be a nice guy but Ccme on.

    Can you spell PR?

    In the laast year or so he commited a criminal act in his home country and came into detroit and turned everything upside down.

  30. NHLER21 says:

    SHUT UP AND KNOW YOUR ROLE you hood rat .Nobody cares about a white trash ghetto AS@ hood rat like you take your opinon and shove it up your ghetto AS@.

  31. MNWinger39 says:

    your comments from past articles original-6

  32. leafs2003champs says:

    ok so I got his name wrong but you get the point

  33. ORIGINAL-6 says:

    If I ever offended you I’m sorry, I don’t try mess with fellow wingnuts, well maybe except for Wills, he is an unoriginal sanford & son recycling fecal bisque spewer, but your alright

  34. Just-Checking-In says:

    Actually it wasn’t really a pay cut. He offered to defer around $200,000 until the following season.

  35. Just-Checking-In says:

    The thing with Kariya’s salary is that because of his age he needs to be paid less than the league average otherwise at the end of the season he would not be an unrestricted free agent. Instead he would be a restricted free agent and would only need a 10% rasie qualifying offer for the Av’s to hold his rights.

    Nice idea, however there are reasons for it as well.

  36. MNWinger39 says:

    cool cool later

  37. Freeze says:

    Considering that Kariya is a -4, I this Kariya is overpaid at $1.5 million. Kariya wants to be a UFA next year – that’s why he took the cut. Considering that the CBA next season may squelch big salaries, why did he do what he did? Pretty stupid, eh!!

    Your story about Hasek telling Lewis that the other Wings can’t talk to Joseph sounds like a crock to me. The Wings are (were) blessed with 3 classy goaltenders. Hasek says no play, no pay. Cujo was completely professional in a tense situation, being offered to any NHL team for next to nothing. Legace just does his job as a “backup” without complaint. What cancer?

  38. inthenet says:

    The wings would not let that happen for one. ANd another if Hasek was the same old Dom in net without the injury who knows what would happen. Besides everything worked out so for this season for the wings/cujo/manny are at the top of the league.

  39. EmptyNetter says:

    True, but it’s more than Bill Guerin and Mike Modano were willing to do for the Stars near the trade deadline. The GM wanted to try to lure Derian Hatcher back from the Red Wings, and they flat-out refused.

  40. EmptyNetter says:

    I don’t know if anybody can untangle what’s in Hasek’s head, but it was still a professional, unselfish gesture. My guess is that he’s loyal to the Red Wings organization and wanted to do right by them — he finally got his name on the Stanley Cup in Detroit and that means something. As for Cujo (and that poor guy in the Czech Republic he beat with his stick), if you try to take his puck or his job then you’ve made yourself an enemy.

    As for Kariya, of course he had a reason for offering his services at the cut-rate price of $1.8 million. He loves the game more than he loves making more money. His joining the Avalanche was like paying $6 million to attend a hockey fantasy camp to play with Joe Sakic & co. In the wake of CBA negotiations, he stood up and said that playing for the love of the game is more important than earning a big fat paycheck. I think that’s commendable, especially since even his future earnings may be considerably reduced.

  41. 19Yzerman says:

    This is why no one was able to name a player who has done this before.This article by Freeze ended with the question

    “Can anyone here identify any athlete in any sport that has refused his salary the way Hasek did?”

    What Hasek did was remove his name from a list that would look like This.

    NHL-Uwe Krupp

    NBA-Chris Weber

    NFL-Patrick Swilling

    MLB-Juan Gonzales

    These are Athletes who came to Detroit and did like Billy Joe and Bobby Sue.Go on take the money and run.

    “Dominik Hasek didn’t come back for the money,” Holland said. “He could have gone through the motions here for the next three months if he wanted to have that money, but he didn’t want to do that. He walked into my office and said, ‘I’m not doing what I promised, and I don’t want to be paid anymore.’ He stepped up and did something that is probably unheard of in professional sports.”

    This has some offering PR as the reason and others with his clothing line promo as to why.

    However untill some evidentiary support proves otherwise.Hasek’s action can only be viewed as Noble and Honorable.

  42. Freeze says:

    You are shooting straight on this one!! Well said.

  43. bruinexpert says:

    just jokes man…great example though

  44. jmorden says:

    To answer your question, Shawn Kemp left the Portland Trailblazers a few years ago (NBA) without a contract buyout becuase he felt bad that his play was not consistent with his salary.

    Don’t paing that Kariya crap as honorable or for the love of the game. He couldn’t win a cup under normal market conditions so he passed on some short-term dough to try to load up a team. Brilliant move trying to position himself to be a free-agent at the time the leaugue is expected to be at its stingiest and leaving the possibility of a serious-injury occurring while on a one year deal. Those smarts belong in Denver.

  45. LeafBasher_BEATER says:

    People, don’t be so ignorant.

    This is something he had to do not because he’s honourable and all that load of crap. Look what he did in detroit, he made life hell for cujo. Look what he did back in europe, he commited a crime. If he goes back there he can use this as character evidence proving how “nice” he is. This is PR!!!!

    People who actually beleive in this stunt sicken me!

  46. 19Yzerman says:

    Shawn Kemp 26.5 million

    Dominik Hasek 2.95 millionFirst I will say that Cujo is a 1st Class act like none I have seen in the Wings Net for quite sometime.However he makes 8 million this year so there to feeling sorry for him.Hasek’s return did cause an 8 MIL per year NHL goalie to clear waivers twice.Which is nothing when compared to the whole Red Wings team letting him down in last years playofffs.Cujo was the only player on the Red wings roster whose stats improved in the post season. Hasek left 3 million left on the table.What returns on his investment are you envisioning.His clothing line will not net 1 million over the next 30 years and getting back into Czech Rep. well you do the math.We are still looking for names of players who have done such Honorable and Noble acts.

    Thank You to jmorden the info on Kemp

    Shawn Kemp 26.5 million

    Dominik Hasek 2.95 million

  47. NHLER1 says:

    This 19yzerman is one dumb bastard.He runs around on this board speaking baby talk.please be quiet nobody cares what you think DOPPY.

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