Dominik Hasek officially ended his one-year retirement today, announcing in a conference call with reporters that he will return to the NHL next season.
"I'm looking forward to getting on the ice once again with my teammates," said Hasek, who retired in 2002 after claiming the Stanley Cup.
Rumors regarding Hasek's comeback started circulating shortly after the close of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Red Wings added substance to the rumors by announcing they had been in touch with Hasek and by picking up their $8 million option on him for next season.
Hasek didn't officially make his decision until Monday night, when he notified Red Wings general manager Ken Holland of his intention to return to the NHL.
Hasek's return leave the Red Wings with two $8 million goaltenders as Curtis Joseph, signed to replace Hasek last spring, has two years remaining on his deal with Detroit. Joseph's contract includes a no-trade clause, which Hasek's does not.
"To this point, I have not asked Curtis or his agent to waive his no-trade clause," Holland said before Hasek's decision was made. "Once Dom's final decision is announced, then I will look at our options."
The Red Wings have indicated that they would be open to trading Hasek instead of Joseph if the offer were right, but they have been shopping Joseph in recent weeks and may ask him to accept a trade.
Notes: Monday the Red Wings announced the signing of prospect Jiri Hudler to a three-year contract. Hudler, Detroit's top pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, is expected to compete for a roster spot in the fall.
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