When listing the greatest legends to play for the Buffalo Sabres, you won’t far into the list before arriving at Dominik Hasek.
That’s what made the images out of Hasek’s homeland so disheartening.
Just to make it clear maybe for someone abroad…
Legendary goalie Dominik Hasek @hasek_dominik has just collected his artifacts from the Czech Hockey Hall of Fame in Prague.
Due to economic issues the Hall of Fame si closing now. And (hopefully) be renewed somewhere else. pic.twitter.com/Fll66rNjIU
— Zdenek Janda (@zdenek_janda) May 31, 2023
Images on social media were showing the goaltending icon and former Sabres netminder packing his donated artifacts into a nearby shopping cart. The Czech Hockey Hall of Fame is closing and legends of the game such as Hasek were found to be gathering up what they’d donated to the Hall before the doors were closing for good.
Hasek was fighting back tears as he was packing up his belongings into three adjacent shopping carts. The treasured artifacts included the gear he wore when backstopping the Czech Republic to the 1998 Olympic gold medal at Nagano, Japan. That was the first Olympic hockey tournament featuring NHL players. There were also some of the six Vezina Trophies that Hasek won during his NHL career.
Hasek won all six of those Vezinas during his time with the Sabres from 1992-2001. He was also a two-time winner of both the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award during his time in Buffalo. Hasek is the only goaltender in NHL history win the Hart in successive seasons (1992-93, 1993-94).
“I’m sorry, but unfortunately, it was a matter of the heart,” Hasek told isport.blesk.cz reporter Zdenek Janda.
Economics are being listed as the cause for the shuttering of the Hall. The hope is that there can be a reopening at a new location in time for next year’s IIHF World Hockey Championship, which is behing held in Czechia.
“Negotiations are currently underway on a new location,” reads a media release from the Czech Hockey Association “The new stone Hall of Fame should be opened no later than March of the following year.”
Hasek Helped Create Czech Hockey Hall Of Fame
Hasek isn’t as certain about a new home being found to display the hockey history of his country for all of the people to see.
“As soon as something is closed, the question is whether it will be opened,” Hasek said.
The Czech Hockey Hall of Fame in Prague has closed. Hall of Fame & arguably GOAT goalie Dominik Hasek is seen here collecting his belongings. Included are jersey/equipment he wore when winning Gold at 98 Olympic Games in Nagano, & his Vezina/Hart Trophies pic.twitter.com/m806o2AOEi
— Duane Steinel (@DuaneS39) May 31, 2023
This is personal for The Dominator and not just because he is an inductee to the Czech Hockey Hall of Fame. He was a participant in the creation of the Hall. Hasek was among those who put together the rules governing earning enshrinement into the Hall and was part of the induction committee.
“Everybody liked the Hall of Fame,” Hasek said. “Anyone who came wanted to see it, and I accompanied a lot of people.”
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At the same time, he understands that the location must make money in order to survive.
“It’s not pleasant, but I have no choice but to respect it,” Hasek said. “The executive committee decided to close it. Something went wrong. It wasn’t profitable.”
He’s uncertain as to what he’ll do with the collection of personal memoabilia that is suddenly back in his possession.
“We’ll see,” Hasek said. “I’ll be happy to lend them somewhere. But they must be representative spaces. Or somewhere in a museum so that people can come and see.”