Recently, NHL.com posted a list of players that were traded too soon in their career and went on to become a star. While the cases for those players was well stated, they left out one player that was largely considered the best goaltender in the world.
In 1992, the Chicago Blackhawks found themselves with a backup goaltender in Dominik Hasek that was behind current franchise goaltender Ed Belfour. With a young Hasek having a ton of value in the trade market, the Blackhawks pulled the trigger on an offer from the Buffalo Sabres.
The trade, which sent Stephane Beauregard and a fourth round pick (Éric Dazé) to Chicago for Hasek, brought the Sabres a new future at goaltender.
After becoming a Sabre, Hasek quickly began to make the Blackhawks regret their decision.
After leaving Chicago, Hasek accomplished the following for the Sabres:
Hart Memorial Trophy: 1997, 1998
Lester B. Pearson Award: 1997, 1998
Vezina Trophy: 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001
William M. Jennings Trophy: 1994, 2001
NHL First All-Star Team: 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001
NHL All-Star Game: 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 (did not play)
Hasek led the Sabres to the playoffs on a regular basis as well as a Stanley Cup Final appearance.
The list of accomplishments for Hasek should warrant him a member of the list of players that were traded too early.
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