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Dominik Hasek, still looking for NHL contract, begins training with Czech club Pardubice

Sean Leahy
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AP

The 2012 offseason has been been the summer of the potential comeback, what with the talk of Dominik Hasek, Georges Laraque and Mike Modano expressing desires to return to the NHL. While Modano's phone hasn't been ringing and Laraque talk has cooled, still standing is the 47-year-old Hasek, who is serious about making a return.

On Thursday, Hasek began on-ice training with HC Pardubice, the hometown club where he began his career as a 15-year-old in 1980 and later returned to in 2009-10 to lead them to a Czech league title.

From Pardubice (translated):

"We are honored that Dominik Hasek used the offer to train together with our A team. Prepare him for the best possible conditions that could best prepare for the new season," said general manager of Championship club Ondrej Sebek in the press release.

"We start up to meet him. Dominik, of course, can use all the facilities and cabins team has a full service, but his training regime to control myself," Sebek said.

Said Hasek, via Pardubice's Facebook page, "My goal is to return overseas, so I train here. I was on the ice after nearly a year and a half. It is an advantage that I can train in such a pleasant environment." Pardubice have also posted video of the training session here.

Hasek, who hasn't played in the NHL since 2008, spoke with the Buffalo Sabres in June and the team decided that it wanted to go forward with the duo of Ryan Miller and Jhonas Enroth. His agent, Ritch Winter, said that around six NHL teams had contacted him regarding Hasek and that playing in Europe was not a fallback plan; it's NHL or bust. Also, they're looking for a multi-year contract. For a 47-year-old goaltender.

What's the reality? It's likely that an NHL team invites Hasek to training camp to help push its current crease inhabitants (and get a nice PR bump, as well) and maybe, just maybe, with an impressive showing he could latch on with a team on a one-year deal, given the right situation. He played 46 games with Spartak Moscow of the KHL last season, and knowing how well he keeps himself in shape, is it that crazy to believe he could find himself on an NHL team with shallow goaltending depth next season? Maybe not.

Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

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