Dominator ready to go

Ottawa Senators goalie Dominik Hasek leaves the Bell Sensplex after a workout Tuesday. (Ottawa...

Ottawa Senators goalie Dominik Hasek leaves the Bell Sensplex after a workout Tuesday. (Ottawa Sun/Tony Caldwell)

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:34 AM ET

The Dominator is ready to roll.

With training camp a week away, Senators goaltender Dominik Hasek looked healthy and happy as he took shots from his new teammates yesterday at the Bell Sensplex.

Hasek, 40, was on the ice with the likes of Daniel Alfredsson, Chris Phillips, Zdeno Chara, Wade Redden, Mike Fisher, Bryan Smolinski, Jason Spezza and Martin Havlat.

Hasek reported for training camp last September, but a lockout wiped out the season. This time, he is focused and ready to go.

"I'm feeling good," said Hasek, who hasn't played in the NHL since a chronic groin problem forced him to scuttle a comeback with the Detroit Red Wings and have surgery in April, 2004. "I've been getting ready for this. I was on the ice until last March and I was on the ice for about 10 days before I came here. There are no doubts this time."

The Senators know there is a risk involved by bringing in Hasek, who has played only 14 games in three years, but GM John Muckler is willing to take the chance.

"I know everybody has a different opinion on this," said Muckler. "I know what Dominik Hasek brings to the game and he brings passion. He loves the game and I have no question this is going to work."

Said goalie coach Ron Low: "He was telling John Muckler the other day that he feels good and he'd like to play two or three more seasons. I think John told (Hasek), 'At this point, I'll take one more season.' "

"I think it's going to be interesting. I think this guy is back because he wants to prove a lot of people wrong. He's been a winner before and he wants to show people he can get back to that level."

Hasek said if the lockout had not been settled this summer, he likely would have retired, but coming back was always foremost on his mind.

"This is fun," he said. "I'm getting the chance to meet most of the guys on the team and that's something I didn't have the chance to do last year because there weren't many guys were around."

FINE WALK: Visitors to the Senators dressing room are being asked to watch their step. While the club installed a fancy new carpet during the NHL lockout, everybody is being warned not to step on the Ottawa logo that is on the floor in the middle of the room. Those who do will be fined $10. Naturally, a reporter was the first culprit to walk across the logo yesterday. He wasn't fined, but had to put up with grief. "It's a pride thing," said Senators GM John Muckler. "You have to have pride in the crest. We had the same sort of thing with the logo on the carpet in New York and we had one with the Edmonton Oilers for a long time. We think it looks good there." A few years ago, the Florida Panthers wouldn't fine anyone, but goalie coach Clint Malarchuk would, with his stick, slap any offenders in the back of the legs.

NO RUSSIAN HERE: The Senators won't be bringing C Alexei Kaigorodov here. Part of the problem was the inability to negotiate a release fee. "He wanted to play in Russia and he's got another year on his contract. We had come to an agreement, but he wanted to stay there and play out the year," said Muckler.

THIS 'N' THAT: Hasek wore two different pads yesterday: One was the smaller regulation size and one was the old size ... Former Senators GM Marshall Johnston was in the stands last night. He's now working for the Hurricanes.

ROOKIE EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

(TODAY, COREL CENTRE)

- 4:30, Florida vs. Montreal

- 8 pm., Toronto vs. Carolina

(TOMORROW, COREL CENTRE)

- 4:30, Ottawa vs. Carolina

- 8 p.m., Montreal vs. Toronto

(FRIDAY, CIVIC CENTRE)

- 4:30, Carolina vs. Montreal

- 8 p.m., Ottawa vs. Florida

(SATURDAY, CIVIC CENTRE)

- 4:30, Florida vs. Toronto

- 8 p.m., Montreal vs. Ottawa


Videos

Photos