If he were to ever play in the NHL again, Dominik Hasek would find himself alongside Gordie Howe and Chris Chelios in the top three of the oldest players to ever have played in the league.
In Buffalo yesterday for a Willie O'Ree youth skills event and to drop the puck for a ceremonial faceoff before last night's Sabres-Thrashers game, the 46-year old Hasek spoke to reporters and expressed his desire to play one more season, but only in the KHL.
"I definitely want to play one more year in Russia. I want to win the cup over there," Hasek said Saturday, during a return to his former home in Buffalo. "I feel great, in good shape."
"The NHL, it's the best show in the world, but I said already when I left Detroit, I said goodbye to the NHL," Hasek said. "I want to play. But if I want to play, I don't want to be a backup goalie."
"I still believe I could play on the highest level. However, it wouldn't be a good idea to come back right now to the NHL," Hasek said. "I feel like I want to stay in hockey, but it's got to be Russia."
Hasek finished the season with Moscow Spartak with a 23-19-3 record and 2.48 goals-against average before bowing out in the first round of the Gagarin Cup.
In other former NHL great news, Sergei Fedorov's Metalurg Magnitogorsk forced a Game 7 in the KHL's Eastern Conference semifinals against Jaromir Jagr's Avangard Omsk with a 2-1 win yesterday. The deciding game will be on Monday and could spell the end a career for either Fedorov or Jagr, whose contracts both end this season.