As you are reading this, six-time Vezina Trophy winner Dominik Hasek is sitting as a table in Detroit announcing to the press that he has chosen to retire from the game of hockey. MYFO, for those of you who don’t know, can type at 1,875 words per minute. Therefore, there is no reason for you to not to assume that is the verbatim transcript of said presser, unfolding in real time.
Mike Babcock: I want to thank you all for attending on such short notice. Without further ado, Dominik has a prepared statement.
Dominik Hasek: Thanks, coach. As you all have likely surmised, today is the day where I bid adieu to the Red Wings and the National Hockey League. (long, completely awkward pause) Ever since I was drafted into this league by Chicago in ’83, I’ve known that at some point this incredible thrill ride would come to an end. And after one final opportunity to hoist the Stanley Cup, I can think of no better time to go out. Honestly, my plan was to stick around until Cheli retired, but my home country beckens their national hero home. Plus, I have goats to tend to. (tears up thinking about his oft-neglected goats) I leave this game with my head held high, a six-pack of Vezinas, a Hart or two, a gold medal, some Cup rings, and the most convenient nickname possible. Good bye, Detroit. You’ve been wonderful to me.
Babcock: Dom, let me just say it has been a complete honor to serve as your coach the last two years. You were a tremendous good influence on the younger guys on this team, and you led us to yet another Presidents’ Trophy. We wish you the best. (awkward hugging) Dominik will now take your questions.
Reporter 1: Helene St. James, Free Press. Don’t you feel that your career will be forever tainted by your Stanley Cup loss to Dallas back in your Buffalo days?
Hasek: Look, I did everything I could in that overtime game that was allowed within the rules of the game. Should someone break the rules, as if they cut through the rulebook with a blade, there’s nothing I can do to stop that. You live, and you move on.
Reporter 2: E.J. Hradek, ESPN. Dominik, Do you feel your unconventional style of play has changed the way future netminders have learned to play the position?
Hasek: No question, E.J. To stop a hockey puck from scoring, you must do whatever it takes as a goalie. Why be constrained to typical form? The shooter knows what he needs to beat typical form. It’s much harder to slide a wrister past Unpredictability. Wow, I had no idea you guys were going to hit me with such hard, thought-provoking questions!!
Reporter 3: Hey Dom, John Glennon with the Tennessean. Are puppies cute?
Hasek: I’m sorry?
Reporter 3: Sorry, I’ll repeat. Are puppies cute?
Hasek: Um, I…I…want to thank you all for supporting me?
Reporter 3: Ah. Quick follow-up. Are puppies also soft?
Babcock: I’m sorry, Dominik. I’ve left you up here without any help for too long. Everyone, I thank you for coming out and may I reiterate the thanks we have for all Dominik has done for the game of hockey.
Hasek exits, Chris Osgood sits down in the chair.
Babcock: We may now continue.
Osgood: Thanks, Coach. Yes, Mr. Glennon, your question is in fact, an easy one. Puppies are both cute AND soft. In fact, some would say that their softness leads directly to their ability to have cuteness. I know many other things about puppies, and I am proud to be here as a member of this organization as to serve as their last line of defense against the unknowns that exist in the animal kingdom. Next question please.
Babcock: Whew, that was a close one.