The Detroit Red Wings have picked up their $8 million option on previously-retired goaltender Dominik Hasek for the 2003-2004 season.
The rumors about a possible return to the NHL by Hasek, who retired after helping the Red Wings claim the Stanley Cup in 2002, have circulated for several weeks. It was only a week ago that the Detroit organization finally revealed that they were in talks with Hasek about his comeback.
The Red Wings are now left with two $8 million goaltenders on the roster. They have been unable to trade Curtis Joseph, who signed with the Wings following Hasek’s retirement. Joseph’s contract, which runs through the 2004-2005 season, includes a no-trade clause that the Red Wings hope he will waive.
In addition to trading one of their netminders, the Red Wings must now attempt to resign star forward Sergei Fedorov, grinder Darren McCarty, and defensemen Jason Woolley and Dmitri Bykov.