Hasek on home front

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:39 AM ET

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Dominik Hasek is going back to Ottawa tomorrow and his experience with the Senators' AHL affiliate could be over.

Ritch Winter, Hasek's agent, confirmed last night that the goaltender is planning to leave the club's Binghamton training camp tomorrow and he'll meet with GM John Muckler today to decide the course of action.

"I spoke with (Muckler yesterday) and I informed him that (Hasek) would be leaving camp to take care of some personal family matters in Ottawa ... it may be some parent-teacher interviews at his school," Winter told the Sun last night.

"I explained the situation to (Muckler). He was understanding and this has always been a loose plan in any case. I just told (Muckler) that maybe the best thing for both sides is for he and Dominik to sit down together and discuss what the course of action is going to be from here. (Hasek) could not be back at all or he could be back on the weekend. I don't know. That's up to them to decide."

While it's believed Hasek is leaning toward not returning, that decision hasn't been officially made. Winter said earlier yesterday that even if the veteran netminder does decide to suit up for a few games with the Baby Sens, he would have returned to Ottawa at some point.

"Right now, (Hasek) is trying to get healthy and back to where he feels he needs to be. Once he's at that point, he'll be back in the lineup at the soup kitchen with the rest of the locked-out players," said Winter.

SPOKEN TO UNION

"It's prudent to suggest that we will look at the collective situation before we make a decision on where to go in the future with this. You want to see how (the union) is feeling, but there is push and pull here because this is an individual situation with a guy who is trying to come back from an injury."

Winter has held several talks with the union about Hasek coming to Binghamton for a conditioning stint, and NHLPA officials didn't try to block him from reporting.

But it could be a different story if Hasek decides to play a few games for the Baby Sens. The word is he likely won't, but he's giving the idea consideration, along with the East Coast Hockey League and the 4-on-4 (OSHL).

TO PLAY TONIGHT

Winter said he'll speak with the union before a decision is made on where Hasek will go next. It should be noted Hasek will suit up tonight for Binghamton's Black and White scrimmage, which could attract a crowd of more than 3,000 people.

"In my conversations with the (NHLPA) it's been something like: 'That's fine, but just let us know what you're going to do next and we'll speak when you've made some kind of decision.' That's where it has been left and that's okay," said Winter.

CAMP NOTES: Senators C Antoine Vermette left practice early yesterday because he was bothered by a sore back. He said he should be fine in the next couple of days and doesn't think it's anything serious. Meanwhile, D Anton Volchenkov, who has been troubled by an ankle injury he suffered during the World Cup, wasn't on the ice yesterday.


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