Czech-ing Out?

With his lone remaining goal acomplished, Red Wings netminder Dominik Hasek is reportedly ready to call it a career and return to his native Czech Republic.

Hasek, brought to Detroit last summer for the single purpose of winning the Stanley Cup, accomplished that mission this spring, leading the Red Wings to their third Stanley Cup Championship is six years, Hasek's first.

No official announcement has been made, however two unnamed NHL sources informed the Buffalo News that Hasek intends to retire. Hasek had previously met with agent Rich Winter and Red Wings general manager Ken Holland.

"I know he's leaning one way. I'm not going to say which way," Holland told reporters on Sunday. "We expect him to make a decision by Tuesday or Wednesday."

Should Hasek retire, the Red Wings will reportedly make a strong push for unrestricted free agent goaltender Curtis Joseph. Joseph is rumored to be looking for a four-year guarentted contract for $9 million.

The Toronto Sun reported Sunday that the Red Wings would not be interested in Joseph for that price. Other available goaltenders include Dallas' Ed Belfour, Boston's Byron Dafoe and Mike Richter of the New York Rangers.

Hasek's retirement will end a career that includes this spring's Stanley Cup Championship, two Hart Trophies, six Vezina Trophies and an Olympic gold medal.


Notes: While the Red Wings may or may not pursue Joseph if Hasek hangs up his skates, they are reportly also interested in free agents Bill Guerin (Boston) and Bobby Holik (New Jersey).

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