The Great One, The Rocket, Mr. Hockey, Sid the Kid, The Great Eight. There have been many legendary nicknames in hockey over the years, but it’s hard to compete with The Dominator.
Dominik Hasek wasn’t just one of the greatest goalies that ever stepped onto the ice, he’s also the one with the best nickname, and it’s not even close. Hasek played 16 seasons in the NHL, won two Stanley Cups, and from 1993 to 2001, he won six Vezina Trophies.
Wayne Gretzky even called him ”the best player in the game” after consecutive Hart Memorial Trophies.
That Hasek would be called The Dominator was obvious, but it actually took some time before it stuck with the hockey crowd in North America.
Before The Dominator became a thing, he was nicknamed ”Dr. Dom” by Mike Keenan and ”Gumby” by broadcasters. But for a short period of time, he was also nicknamed ”The Count,” and he didn’t like it one bit.
”We’re going on a road trip, and we’re getting on the plane, and he had an overcoat,” said Mitch Korn, Hasek’s former goalie coach in Buffalo, in the podcast When Goalies Were Weird.
”He did not put his arms through the overcoat. He buttoned the very top and, (like) back in medieval times, it looked like a cape.
”And one of the guys nicknamed him The Count.”
“He did not like that,” Korn said. “And it hung around until he got good. And when he got good, it disappeared in a hurry, replaced by The Dominator.”
Dominik Hasek was a special character but always incredibly well-liked by teammates and in the locker room. He didn’t like the nickname ”The Count,” but he showed everyone he was more than just that, and we guess he was pretty happy when ”The Dominator” stuck with the crowd.