At least Dom can't get hurt in Italy

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:48 AM ET

The Dominator II. It looks like the likelihood of Dominik Hasek returning to tend goal for the Senators next year is shaping up as the club's best option.

About two weeks ago, that would have sounded nuts, huh?

Now it looks like it could be the storyline of the NHL heading into next year.

Colleague Bruce Garrioch wrote in Friday's Sun that Hasek's agent and Senators GM John Muckler have been in talks about Hasek's return and Hasek himself has made it clear he wants to come back and tend to unfinished business.

A tandem of Hasek and Ray Emery might cost the Senators less than $3 million US (plus bonuses) and that's a heck of a lot cheaper than the other options out there.

Those would be trading for one of the unseated No. 1s from another club making a lot of money, like J.S. Giguere of Anaheim --though he looks like he's on his way back -- or San Jose's Evgeni Nabokov; or getting in a bidding war for unrestricted free agents like Dwayne Roloson or Martin Gerber (the Phoenix Coyotes tied up Curtis Joseph with a new deal Friday).

A Hasek-Emery tandem would free up maybe as much as $2 million to be spent in other areas, which the Senators surely need.

Hasek's health problems have been well-documented, but when he's healthy, are any of those other goalies a better, for-sure bet?

I don't think so.

Leaving things in Emery's hands doesn't look as much of a gamble now, either, given the experience he gained this season.

The good thing, too, is there are no Olympics next year.

chris.stevenson@ott.sunpub.com


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