The numbers of Gilbert Perreault, Rick Martin, Rene Robert, Tim Horton, Danny Gare and Pat LaFontaine are about to receive some company in the rafters of First Niagara Center.
Dominik Hasek’s No. 39 will be retired as part of a pre-game ceremony on Tuesday, January 13, prior to the Buffalo Sabres’ game against the Detroit Red Wings at 7 p.m. Fans are asked to be in their seats for the ceremony that will begin at 6:45 p.m.
All fans in attendance will receive a commemorative banner presented by First Niagara, the official bank of the Buffalo Sabres. The front of the banner features Hasek’s number and years of service while the back of the banner lists his career statistics and trophies he earned during his career.
Fans attending the game will also be able to purchase a piece of Sabres history. The Sabres will be selling limited-edition autographed Hasek hats, pucks and lithographs with proceeds benefitting Hasek’s Heroes, an organization Hasek founded in 2001 dedicated to help bring the game of ice hockey to underprivileged inner-city youth living in Buffalo.
Items will be available for purchase in the 100 level pavilion at First Niagara Center.
Hasek’s No. 39 will be featured prominently on the ice behind each net and members of Hasek’s Heroes will be on-hand as well. Hasek's Heroes annually provides services and equipment to more than 500 children ages 4 to 17 free of charge.
Sabres alumni will also be present as their former teammate is honored.
Hasek became the first goaltender in NHL history to win the Hart Trophy – the NHL’s most valuable player award – twice, doing so in 1997 and 1998.
He also won the Vezina Trophy six times (1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2001) and the William M. Jennings Trophy (1994 and 2001) and Lester B. Pearson Award twice (1997 and 1998).
Hasek had a prolific career overseas before he entered the NHL during the 1990-91 season, but when he joined the Sabres as part of a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks on August 7, 1992, he was still a relatively unknown commodity. He quickly began to leave his mark on the game and established himself as not only the Sabres starting goaltender, but one of the best goaltenders ever, with a style and flair all his own.
Upon his departure from the Sabres in the summer of 2001, his résumé had become the most polished in the history of the franchise. He owned the Sabres records for most all-time games played (491), wins (234), shutouts (55) and lowest career goals-against average (2.22).
He appeared in a career-high 72 games during the 1997-98 season and set a team record with 13 shutouts. He won the Hart Trophy for the second time after that season, but he topped it the following year, finishing with a career-best 1.87 goals-against average, .937 save percentage and a berth in the 1999 Stanley Cup Final.
He went on to win the Stanley Cup twice with the Detroit Red Wings in 2002 and 2008 and retired from the NHL in 2008. He played for a few more seasons in Europe before retiring for good on Oct. 9, 2012.
Hasek, who will turn 50 on January 29, was the fifth and final Sabres player to wear No. 39. He was inducted into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame on March 29 and into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 17.
He also won a gold medal for the Czech Republic during the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, which he considers to be one of the proudest moments of his career.