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Red Wings goalie Hasek retires following Cup triumph

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DETROIT (AP) -Dominik Hasek, the goaltender known as the Dominator, retired Monday because he said he lacked the motivation for a 17th season.

"I don't feel today that I'm ready to compete on the highest level," Hasek said during a news conference at Joe Louis Arena. "Not because of the physical things, but because I need motivation every day. ... Right now I don't feel it's there, and I don't want to disappoint anybody."

Hasek's announcement came five days after the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in six games over Pittsburgh.

Detroit general manager Ken Holland said Hasek's place in history is secured, calling him not only one of the greatest goalies of his era - along with Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur - but also one of the best in NHL history.

"He's a first-ballot Hall of Famer," Holland said. "And one of the greatest goaltenders to ever play the game."

The six-time Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL's top goaltender and two-time Hart Trophy winner as the league's MVP leaves on a mixed note.

Hasek, the only goalie to win the MVP award twice, lost his job during Detroit's run to the Cup. The 43-year-old from the Czech Republic was benched during the opening-round series in favor of Chris Osgood and never regained the starting job.

"I am leaving this game feeling very, very happy because of all the memories and all the friendships I have made with all of you," he said.

Holland said he didn't try to persuade Hasek to return for another season.

"There was nothing to discuss," Holland said. "Dom was completely at peace with the decision that he had made."

Hasek won 389 games with the Red Wings, Ottawa Senators, Buffalo Sabres and Chicago Blackhawks, who drafted him in the 10th round in 1983 and had to wait until the 1990-91 season to get him on the ice. Chicago kept him just two seasons, then watched him become one of the game's greats in Buffalo.

Hasek ranks 10th in NHL history in wins, 10th in goals against average, 18th in games and is tied for sixth in shutouts, according to STATS.

He won 65 playoff games - including 16 in 2002 when he won his first Stanley Cup with Detroit - and gave up an average of just two goals in the postseason.

Hasek led the Czech Republic to gold at the 1998 Nagano Olympics.

During this past regular season, he won 27 games and had a 2.14 goals-against average while alternating with Osgood in net.

Detroit coach Mike Babcock chose to start Hasek in the playoffs - saying "Dom's not going to struggle" - then pulled him in favor of Osgood during Game 4 in the opening-round series against the Nashville Predators.

Osgood won his first nine games as a starter in the postseason and finished with a 14-4 record and a league-low 1.55 goals-against average, keeping Hasek on the bench.

After an injury-shortened season with the Senators, Hasek returned to the Red Wings two years ago.

He signed a one-year contract worth $750,000 in 2006 and made $900,000 in bonuses. He chose to stick around last summer with a one-year contract worth more than $2 million in base salary with a chance to earn an additional $2 million in bonuses.

Detroit acquired Hasek the first time in 2001 in a trade with Buffalo, where he had been since 1992. He backstopped the Red Wings to the championship during his first season in Detroit, then retired.

During his news conference Monday, Hasek thanked fans in Buffalo who supported him when he played for the Sabres, saying they played a role in each save, as well as the Detroit fans who cheered him on during his seasons with the Red Wings.

"They make Hockeytown as great as it is," Hasek said of the Detroit fans.

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