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Published: Thursday, 6/14/2007

Hasek seeks return to Red Wings' goal

ASSOCIATED PRESS

DETROIT - Dominik Hasek wants to play another season for the Red Wings.

"We haven't talked contract yet because the whole issue was whether Dom wanted to play or not," general manager Ken Holland told the Associated Press yesterday. "His agent told me Friday that he wanted to come back, but we agreed to let him take his vacation over the next few days to make sure that's what he really wanted to do. When he returned, nothing changed.

"He wants to come back to Detroit. But he's an unrestricted free agent, so now we have to negotiate a new deal. ... I don't anticipate it being a problem finding common ground."

The 42-year-old Hasek is a six-time Vezina Trophy winner and two-time NHL MVP. He signed a one-year contract worth $750,000 and earned $900,000 in bonuses for helping the Red Wings advance past the second round for the first time since 2002. Detroit was eliminated in the Western Conference finals by the Anaheim Ducks, who went on to win the Stanley Cup.

Hasek was 38-11-6 with a 2.05 goals-against average, .913 save percentage, and eight shutouts during his 15th regular season and third in Detroit. In the playoffs, Hasek was 10-8 with a 1.79 GAA, .923 save percentage, and two shutouts.

KONSTANTINOV ON MEND: Vladimir Konstantinov shuffles his feet very slowly with the help of a walker.

It's a bittersweet accomplishment for the former Detroit Red Wing, who almost lost his life in a limousine crash a decade go.

"It's hard to explain how it feels when you see Vladdy now," former Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman said yesterday, the 10-year anniversary of the accident. "He is alive, first of all. But we all know what kind of athlete and personality he was.

"That night is still pretty vivid and all the guys think about it regularly, especially when they see Vladdy."

Six days after the star defenseman helped the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup in 1997 - their first in 42 years - a night of celebration was shaken with a sobering crash.

Konstantinov, teammate Slava Fetisov, and masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov got into a limo driven by Richard Gnida, whose license had been revoked because of repeated violations, after a team party at a golf course.

Traveling about 50 mph through the suburb of Birmingham shortly before dusk, the limo veered across several lanes, jumped a curb, and slammed into a tree. The brakes were never applied, police said.

Fetisov escaped with relatively minor injuries and was able to help the Red Wings repeat as champions the next season.

Konstantinov, who was comatose for more than five weeks after the wreck, and Mnatsakanov both came away with brain injuries.

"The long-term prognosis for this is impossible to tell," Dr. James Robbins, a trauma surgeon at William Beaumont Hospital, said on June 14, 1997.

Gnida ended up spending time in jail.

Mnatsakanov is still in a wheelchair. Konstantinov has made slow, steady progress over the years. "I'm thrilled Vladdy can get around with a walker. That pleases me to no end," Red Wings senior vice president Jimmy Devellano said.

The Red Wings have contributed more than $1 million to the Konstantinov and Mnatsakanov families' foundations, assisting both with their medical needs.



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