Dominik Hasek was a special player. He was a winner who worked so much harder than anyone else, and he got rewarded for it. Hasek is one of the best goalies in the modern era, and few goalies have made a lasting impression on hockey fans like Hasek did.
Sure, he was renowned for making the most spectacular saves and playing the most dared-stylish type of goaltending, but he also won incredible honors, trophies, and awards. He played for 16 seasons in the NHL, won the Stanley Cup two times, and the Vezina a whopping six times.
Hasek was also known for having a fierce temperament, and he could do almost anything to ensure he won a game. And when he didn’t, he wasn’t one to take it with ease.
On the podcast ”When Goalies Were Weird,” host John Matisz shares an awesome story of when Hasek lost a game against the Avalanche and punished himself for it in the most hilarious way.
Hasek had recently moved from Buffalo to Detroit, and his first big test was against the Red Wings’ rivals Colorado Avalanche. It didn’t go as Hasek had hoped. He allowed four goals on just 18 shots as the Red Wings lost 4-1.
The day after, GM Ken Holland arrived at the Joe Louis Arena parking lot. He was always there before the players arrived, but this time, he saw Hasek’s car parked outside.
After asking a trainer what was happening, he was shown inside the Red Wings’ stick room. What he saw was unforgettable.
On a tiny sofa, the huge Hasek was asleep, wearing only a blanket. It was a punishment from Hasek, to Hasek, for not playing the way he wanted to. And keep in mind; this was just during the regular season, not even past the new year.
Hasek’s former teammate Kirk Maltby spoke on the podcast, and he said it was a disgusting room to even be in, let alone sleep in.
”It was not even ten-by-ten, and that’s where we would always got our sticks,” Maltby said. ”There was a little couch, or a sofa, and an old tube TV in the corner. And you wouldn’t spend much time back there, other than cutting your sticks. Guys would cut their sticks, torch their sticks. It didn’t get a lot of attention from the cleaning side of it, and it wasn’t a room you went to to sprawl out and watch TV and go to bed, because, I mean, I never saw one, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was any rat droppings back there.”
Dominik Hasek also confirms the story on the podcast.
”I think after that game, I felt down,” Hasek said.” So I just laid down on the couch, and I just thought, ’F-ck it, I’m not going home.’ So I called my wife and said I’m staying over. I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I’m sure it was after losing a game, and I don’t think I’ve done it before or after.”