Former Red Wings goaltender Dominik Hasek has chosen to play for Spartak Moscow of the KHL next season, and Hasek…sounded like himself in discussing the reasons behind his decision with Sport-Express’s Alexander Shapiro:
June 2, Sport-Express (roughly translated): Dominik Hasek: “I want to try something new”
As SE already reported, within the next few days the well-known Czech goalkeeper Dominik Hasek will arrive in Moscow to sign a contract with Spartak. And yesterday the Dominator gave an interview to our correspondent.
According to our information, the 45-year-old Dominator will arrive to the capital of Russia together with Milos Riha, the head coach of the capital’s club. This visit will be a short-term one. Most likely, they will both depart back to the Czech Republic the same day.
Neither Hasek nor Riha will discuss the situation regarding the contract’s signing with the press, as there’s an arrangement with the club that all comments will be made after the agreement is registered. Nevertheless this Sport-Express correspondent managed to phone the Olympic champion from Nagano and double Stanley Cup-winner, and asked him to answer some questions.
“I haven’t spoken Russian for a long time, probably twenty years,” Hasek said first of all.
Apparently, you’ve already made your decision on your future?
“While I’ve considered offers from several clubs. I know that in the Czech Republic they really want me to stay home. But I, to tell the truth, would like to try something new. For example, to play in the KHL. Our experts consider this league to be the strongest in Europe, and it’s probably true. Excellent players don’t play there without reason.”
And have you talked to Spartak coach Milos Riha about the KHL?
“Yes, Mr. Riha has told me about Spartak. A lot of interesting things.”
Recently, despite your age, you were named the best player of the Czech Exraliga’s playoffs. It means one thing: you’re still in excellent shape.
“Anyway, I try to be. Because I want to play at the highest level for as long as possible.” (According to Dominator’s personal trainer, Josef Bruk, Hasek is already, three months prior to the start of the European regular season, preparing for the upcoming season–Alexander Shapiro’s note)
The Czech Republic’s national team recently won the World Championship…
“I think that the guys have won the gold by right. The present team was one where everyone played for each other, one for all, all for one. We had a real celebration for it.”
Were you surprised about the fact that the best goalkeeper of the World Championships was Germany’s Dennis Endras, not your compatriot, Tomas Vokoun?
“Three goalkeepers, in my opinion, were among the best–Vokoun, Endras, and a Swede. All of them played at a very high level.”
He heard the next question, regarding his future plans, and Hasek, to my surprise, already said…
“Understand, while all the same, I can’t give a great big interview. You’ll have to call Pardubice (Hasek’s last club) for permission.”
Pardubice gave its permission, but the great goalkeeper didn’t pick up the phone again…