Dominik Hasek returned to Buffalo Saturday for two reasons Saturday. The Dominator was here as Hasek's Heroes hosted the NHL's Willie O'Ree skills competition and to meet new Sabres owner Terry Pegula at HSBC Arena before the Sabres Thrashers game.
Stu Boyar caught up with Hasek at Riverside Rink where he was on the ice with the youngsters. Hasek told Stu "Ten years ago we started this program. I said I wanted it to go on forever. Now it is not only running but growing. I'm very proud of everyone involved. The late Fred Korey was instrumental in getting this program started and now Sean Green is doing a great job. Thanks to all those people who support it. The kids are doing a great job not only on the ice but in school too. I'm exicted to see it."
Hasek headed to HSBC Arena to meet new Sabres owner Terry Pegula. He thinks Pegula buying the Sabres is a great thing. "He's a former season ticker holder, a long time supporter, I think its great to have these people involved. This is a great place to play hockey."
Boyar asked Hasek about the Sabres reaching out to its former players and how important that was to him. Hasek told Stu he spent 9 wonderful years with the team. "You know in 2001 I moved to a different place but its part of your life. However, you know Sabres always stayed in my heart. Now being invited and meeting their new owner I'm very excited about it."
Hasek played in the KHL, the top league in Russia last year and wants to play another season. He said he won't return to the NHL where he starred with the Sabres and won two Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings.
The sellout crowd at HSBC Arena gave Hasek a standing ovation that lasted nearly 45 seconds before he dropped the puck for the ceremonial opening face off.
Hasek said he knows "the Sabres are on the edge of the playoffs. I think they'll get in and I hope they do well."