Dominik Hasek's No. 39 will head to the rafters at the First Niagara Center when the Buffalo Sabres retire the number of the winningest goaltender in franchise history.
Known as The Dominator, the six-time Vezina Trophy-winner's jersey will be raised on Jan. 13 before the Sabres face off against the Detroit Red Wings—the team with which Hasek won a pair of Stanley Cups (2002, 2008). Before joining Detroit in 2001, he spent nine seasons in Buffalo, going 234-170-70 in 491 games, with 55 shutouts and 2.22 goals-against average.
The closest Hasek ever came to winning the chalice with the Sabres was during the 1998-99 playoffs. The Stanley Cup Final ended in controversy when Brett Hull of the Dallas Stars scored the series-winning goal in triple overtime of Game 6 with his left skate in the goal crease. The Sabres argued that Hull had violated a rule forbidding players to precede the puck into the crease. The goal was allowed to stand after review when officials determined that Hull had control of the puck.
Hasek was one of the NHL's most dazzling netminders during his 16 seasons in the NHL. He retired in 2008 as a Red Wing and will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame this year.
-- Anna Celia Gallegos