OSHL has Hasek, McCabe

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:07 AM ET

In a perfect hockey world, Dominik Hasek would be returning to the NHL in a month and demonstrating why he is considered one of the best at what he does for a living. But with a lockout expected to be announced tomorrow, the Original Stars Hockey League has lured Hasek.

Ritch Winter, Hasek's agent, yesterday confirmed his client is on board for the four-on-four league slated to begin play Friday night in Barrie at the Molson Centre.

"He is definitely playing," Winter said. "Whether he plays every game or in 80% of them has yet to be determined. I think (the league) will pick up a lot of steam as it goes along."

Hasek signed with the Ottawa Senators in the summer and also is exploring playing for Binghamton of the AHL.

The OSHL's draft of players who applied to play in the league -- there will be six teams, each named after an Original Six club, comprised of 12 skaters and one goaltender -- is done. Hasek will play for Detroit, which is scheduled to meet Toronto in the first game in Barrie. Tickets, ranging from $35-$60, went on sale yesterday through TicketMaster.

Among players listed on team rosters yesterday were Maple Leafs Bryan McCabe and Wade Belak (Toronto), Andrew Raycroft and Mike Fisher (Boston) and Mike Comrie (Detroit). League president Randy Gumbley said more players will be announced in the next few days, once the World Cup is finished. Canada goalie Roberto Luongo is expected to be among that group. A training camp is planned for Thursday and Friday in Vaughan.

"The concept is well thought-out and I think we're going to enjoy it," Comrie said. "We're going to have to read and react a lot differently on the ice."

Players have signed contracts stipulating they participate in each game, Gumbley said. The league's major sponsor is Assante Wealth Management, and the league has secured insurance for each player with Lloyd's of London.

Rules include no-touch icing, changing only on the fly and no red line. When penalties are called, players will be awarded penalty shots with "chasers" from the offending club.

Each team will play five games in a round-robin beginning Friday, with the second season beginning in October. Games are slated for Western Canada in October.

Players will get a cut of revenues.

"It could be zero or however ticket sales go," said Gumbley, who will shut the league down when an agreement between the NHL and NHLPA is reached. "We hope it will be profitable for the players and the charities involved. The players are not going to make a million dollars here. They want to stay in shape and they want to play amongst their peers."

Unlike their battle with NHL owners, money is not an issue for the players who signed to play in the OSHL.

"It's just another way to play hockey," Belak said.

"Having the opportunity to play across Canada in smaller rinks is going to be fun."


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