Hasek return has one Sen's support

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:18 AM ET

Is Dominik Hasek welcome back?

That's the biggest question that still needs to be answered, with Senators GM John Muckler expected to sit down next week with Hasek and agent Ritch Winter to discuss the netminder's future.

After the Senators' playoff elimination last month, Hasek declared he had to speak with the club's captains before deciding whether he would return next season.

Hasek never returned from an adductor muscle injury he suffered while playing for the Czech Republic at the Olympics in February. At his season-ending press conference, coach Bryan Murray told reporters that while it wasn't his decision, he felt the club should turn the page on Hasek. If he's brought back, some serious fence-mending will be needed on both sides.

"(Muckler) is going to have to get a feel for what's happening in that room before he makes the decision to bring him back," said a league executive yesterday. "It's easy to say, 'We're going to bring him back because we don't have many options,' but you have to be careful how the guys in that room feel. Maybe they don't want Hasek back. There might be lingering feelings about the way that last year ended."

In Detroit, Hasek left the Red Wings in February 2003 because of a groin problem that required surgery. It's believed Red Wings players went to team management and asked that Hasek leave because they felt he was a distraction to starter Curtis Joseph.

Senators centre Jason Spezza said he felt Hasek would be welcomed back here.

"We know what Dominik Hasek can do and it's unfortunate he wasn't able to get healthy," said Spezza. "But if you have (Hasek) back healthy with (Ray Emery), then I think we would have a pretty good combination."

Meanwhile, no discussions have been held between the Sens and defenceman Wade Redden this week.


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