Senators owner recalls Dominik Hasek injury at Olympics, happy they aren’t going
The memory for Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk still persists. It was the 2005-2006 season and the Sens were marching along the season with Hall of Fame goaltender Dominik Hasek doing what he does – dominate.
That season, Melnyk believed the Senators were going to win the Stanley Cup. With Hasek, 41 at the time posting Vezina-like numbers with a 2.09 GAA and 925 SV% his feelings were justified. Before heading for the Olympics in Turin, Italy he had 28 wins in just 43 games.
Then catastrophe hit and Melnyk is still upset by it.
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Hasek’s Olympic injury derailed Senators chance at Cup
“The thing that happened, that we all feared, actually happened,” Melnyk recalled Hasek getting hurt to the Ottawa Sun. “You don’t have a lot of chances to win a Stanley Cup. That was our year, and that was our chance, and it was taken away from us.”
Hasek was injured just 10 minutes into the Olympics with an adductor muscle tear, it ended his season and although Ray Emery led them team to first place finish in the East, the Sens were ousted in round two of the playoffs.
Melnyk voiced his displeasure after the injury in 2006. “I feel the Olympic experience is very important for the N.H.L., but I don’t think it’s all positive,” he said via the NY Times. “I understand why we go to the Olympics, and I guess I’m for that. But I don’t like when my goaltender gets hurt. And I don’t like the lack of communication.”
Today, he’s a little more direct about it. “You don’t want your players to go over there and get hurt,” Melnyk explained. “It’s a nightmare, I’ve lived it, and it cost us the chance of winning a Stanley Cup. “I don’t want to get caught again because doing it once was enough.”
Despite his opposition, the NHLPA has already set their sites on the 2026 Olympics.