Hasek simply had to go

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:50 AM ET

Keeping goalie Dominik Hasek would have caused a rift in the Ottawa dressing room: Everyone vs. him.

That's the general consensus as the Senators prepare to open camp today with free-agent signing Martin Gerber getting ready to assume the team's No. 1 role in place of the Dominator.

While Senators GM John Muckler thought seriously about bringing the 40-year-old Hasek back, his best decision was probably signing Gerber away from the Hurricanes.

Hasek, who has since signed with the Red Wings, suffered an adductor muscle injury at the Olympics in February and never played again for Ottawa.

He tried to make a comeback during the playoffs vs. the Sabres, but decided he couldn't and that caused some bad blood in the dressing room.

"(Not bringing back Hasek) was probably the best thing for everybody," said Senators defenceman Chris Phillips. "After what happened last year with the injury and when Ray Emery stepped in there and did the job. From everything I've heard about Martin Gerber, he's a great guy and we know the way he can play because he did a great job against us last year."

Blueliner Wade Redden agreed.

"It's probably best," said Redden. "It's a tough situation because when he's on top of his game, he's one of the best goalies in the world, but there were going to be a lot of questions about him this year ... especially with his age."

Captain Daniel Alfredsson said if Ottawa hadn't signed Gerber then Hasek may have been a viable choice.

"I was asked this the other day, and I really think if we weren't able to get Gerber, then Hasek may have been the best option available," said Alfredsson. "But I know Martin Gerber pretty well and I have a lot of respect for him as a player."


Photos