PRAGUE (AP) — Veteran goaltender Dominik Hasek appears done with ice hockey after giving up hope of returning to the NHL again.
The 47-year-old goalie resumed training ahead of this season hoping to get picked up by an NHL club, but told the Czech daily Sport on Tuesday that no team offered him a contract amid the current lockout and that it is "very unlikely" one would.
"It's very sad," Hasek told Sport, according to a translation on IIHF.com. "But there is nothing you can do. I realized that it's time to retire."
Known as the "Dominator," he was twice named the NHL's most valuable player, and took home the Vezina Trophy six times. He also won a gold medal for the Czech Republic at Nagano in 1998, the first Olympics to use NHL players.
"His nickname was the Dominator, but it could have easily been the Innovator," said former NHL goalie Darren Eliot. "His acrobatic cartwheel move and dropping his goal stick to cover loose pucks with his blocker glove were never seen before Hasek made them the norm."
Hasek announced his retirement in 2002 after winning his first Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings, but came back and then retired from the NHL again in 2008.
He then led his hometown club Pardubice to the Czech league title and then played a season for Spartak Moscow in the Kontinental Hockey League.