Hasek hasn't accepted pay since Jan. 9

Updated: March 13, 2004, 4:08 PM ET
Associated Press

DETROIT -- Red Wings goaltender Dominik Hasek has refused to accept about $3 million of his salary because he is out with a groin injury.

Hasek, who announced Feb. 10 that he would miss the remainder of the season with the injury, has not accepted pay since Jan. 9, general manager Ken Holland said Friday.

 Dominik Hasek
Hasek

That was the day Hasek and the team agreed the goaltender should rest the injured groin for two to four weeks.

Hasek tested out the groin in early February, but later said he could no longer play this season. The nagging groin injury has limited him to 14 games since he came out of a one-year retirement.

Hasek refused to accept about $3 million of his salary for a simple reason.

"I didn't feel that I could play," he said Saturday.

"He just felt that he wasn't doing what he really had set out to do, which is to play hockey and play at a high level," Holland said. "At that time, he told me that he did not want to receive any further salary until he was ready to play."

Hasek said he did not intend to make public his refusal to accept his salary and spoke only after Holland discussed the issue with reporters.

By Jan. 9, Hasek had received a little more than $3 million of his $6 million salary for the season.

"I came to Detroit, and I felt that I could play at the highest level. And I wasn't able to do it,'' Hasek said.

"I think it's an unbelievable gesture," Holland said.

One of the NHL's greatest goalies, Hasek won two MVP awards and six Vezina Trophies, given to the league's top goalie, during a nine-year stint in Buffalo. He also led the Czech Republic to a gold medal in the 1998 Nagano Olympics.

Hasek joined the Red Wings before the 2001-02 season, winning his first Stanley Cup that season. He retired in 2002, but came back to Detroit before this season.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE