News 4’s Lauren Hall is the in-arena host on game nights. She stopped by the arena Monday as final preps were coming together for the ceremony.
They are planning a dignified tribute to one of the best Sabres of all time, as they retire his jersey. As fans enter the arena, each person will be given a mini Hasek banner, a replica of the one that will forever hang in the rafters at the First Niagara Center. His career stats and achievements are listed on the back, including six Vezina trophies, two Hart trophies, two Pearson awards, an Olympic gold medal and two Stanley Cups he won with Tuesday night’s opponent, the Detroit Red Wings.
If you’re going to the game, you will want to be on time. At 6:45 p.m., the Sabres will be doing an autographed Dominik Hasek jersey giveaway to someone who is in his or her seats early.
This is a new tradition at Sabres games this year. But up until tonight, they have only ever given away current players jerseys.
Soon after that, the lights will dim and the “Dominator” will take the ice. He will be introduced by the man that gave him that nickname back in the 90’s: Play-by-Play Announcer Rick Jeanarett.
Hasek will address the crowd for a few moments. Then he will be joined by two special groups of people, Members of his “Hasek’s Heroes” foundation, and two honored members of the so-called “Rafters Club.”
They will all play a special part in presenting his banner, and raising it into the rafters, where his jersey will join Gilbert Perreault, Rick Martin, Rene Robert, Tim Horton, Danny Gare and Pat LaFontaine’s banners.
When Hasek was inducted in the Wall of Fame last year he said, “It was an honor for me to play in Buffalo and this is something I will never forget.”
The team will have autographed Hasek’s Heroes caps, pucks, and lithographs for sale at the game, to benefit the organization that brings hockey to youth players here in western New York.
You can also pick up a replica banner at the Sabres store if you can’t make it to the game or know someone else who couldn’t.