It's a Dom deal

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:47 AM ET

Dominik Hasek's adductor muscle isn't the only thing that's become detached in the past three months.

So too has his sense of reality.

Two days after the Senators were eliminated from the playoffs, Hasek actually stood before the media at Scotiabank Place and indicated he'd like to return to Ottawa next season.

And, yes, he was serious.

While Hasek said he would consult with his family and captain Daniel Alfredsson before making a decision on what he'll do next season, all the 41-year-old goalie really needs to do is talk to coach Bryan Murray, who will tell Hasek his time in Ottawa is up.

"I don't know what was said (by Hasek) because I haven't heard it, but I think it's time to move on (from Hasek)," Murray said at his wrap-up news conference yesterday.

On that point, Murray couldn't have been more correct. Regardless of what Hasek wants, the time has come for the Senators to admit bringing in an aging goalie was a mistake and "move on."

That means the Senators will have Ray Emery back next season to compete for the No. 1 job, but there's no way GM John Muckler should bring back Hasek, who missed the final three months of the season after getting hurt at the Olympics.

Hasek would like his children -- Michael and Dominika -- to go to school in the Czech Republic next year while he finishes out his career.

Well, his career is finished in Ottawa and it's doubtful any other team will take a chance on him.

"It's a complicated situation and I just don't want to get into it," said Hasek of his kids.

It's too bad things didn't work out because up until the Olympic break, it looked like Hasek just might lead the Senators to the promised land.

But after injuring his adductor muscle in Turin, Hasek never recovered and simply became a distraction during the playoffs.

This isn't the first time this has happened to Hasek. In 2003, the Red Wings asked Hasek to leave because he wasn't showing any signs of recovering from a groin injury.

DENIES HE'S A QUITTER

But as far as being a quitter goes, Hasek would have none of that.

"I have never quit on anybody," said Hasek. "I just wasn't ever ready to play and I wasn't as close to coming back, even when I was practising, as everybody thought I was. I didn't come back because I don't think I was capable of playing."

The indication after the Olympics was Hasek would be out 10-14 days with a mild strain. Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months.

The result was Hasek was finished for the season despite an attempt to return for Game 4 against the Sabres last Thursday in Buffalo.

"I guess we all hoped and wanted him to come back," said Murray. "We kind of got trapped into this thinking, and it's easy to fall into it, that he would return. The trade deadline went past and we really thought he would be back for the last 10-12 games.

"I know that (Muckler) didn't want him to go to the Olympics in the first place, but under the (collective bargaining agreement) we weren't able to stop him. We thought there was no reason to pick up another goalie as a result because based on (Hasek's) experience, we thought we were going to get our No. 1 goalie back.

"You can't point the finger at Ray Emery. He did a good job for us and he was in a tough situation."

So, where do the Senators turn? Murray wants a proven goalie, which means Muckler could be looking to Edmonton, where the netminder many pundits thought Ottawa should have dealt for at the NHL's trade deadline will be available in July.

The value of Oilers goalie Dwayne Roloson is rising. He will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, has led Edmonton to within one win of advancing to the third round and piqued Muckler's interest at the deadline when he was with the Wild.

Right now, there's no rush to find a goalie as the Senators have to officially get rid of Hasek first.


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