Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Dominik Hasek? Well, yeah -- why not?

Look, I'm going to make this simple for you. Which of the following makes you feel most comfortable tending goal during a playoff series?

a) Dominik Hasek*
b) Chris Osgood
c) Manny Legace

*when healthy

Please be honest.

Make your choice?

So did the Red Wings.

GM Ken Holland indicated as such, signing the 41 year-old Hasek to a one-year deal yesterday. And Hasek immediately becomes the Wings' #1 goalie, with Osgood as an "insurance policy" -- Holland's words.

"We just felt like, if you can get a Dominik Hasek...he's one of the best, when he's healthy," Holland told WXYT AM-1270.

Holland said he hadn't required that Hasek have a physical exam -- something he asked of Ed Belfour a few weeks ago.

"No...he says his groin is healed, and I believe him," Holland said.

Holland says the plan is for Hasek, who'll make about $750,000 next season plus incentives, to start 50-55% of the games, with Osgood starting the rest.

"Unless Dom has another groin injury," Holland said in his best caveat emptor voice.

It was a running theme during Holland's radio interview: Hasek's health. But also not surprising, when the goalie in question is 40 years old plus one.

Hasek's numbers last season, before he injured his groin, were phenomenal. A GAA in the low 2.00's, and a save percentage of about .925. Not shabby at all.

But as usual, there are questions about Hasek's work ethic, and his slowness recovering from his groin injury last season didn't answer those questions at all. Holland, for his part, seems unfazed. And he's the only one who truly matters, who's not named Dominik Hasek.

But back to that question I posed at the top of this post.

I think the answer is clear: a healthy, happy Hasek* can out-goaltend the other two something silly.

*unlikely to happen.*

This time, there's no awkward coming out of retirement. No big-ticket goalie that Hasek will have to co-exist with (read: Curtis Joseph). The reward far outways the risk.

Besides, the deal is only for one-year; one-and-out, and it doesn't appear to bother Hasek in the least. Methinks the prodigal son is returning -- tail somewhat firmly lodged in the five-hole. How many chances does Dom get after this, after all?

Just keep the groin doctor nearby.

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