Senators sign Gerber to multiyear contract; say goodbye to Hasek

Updated: July 1, 2006, 9:42 PM ET
Associated Press

OTTAWA - Dominik Hasek's time in Ottawa ended Saturday when the Senators signed free agent goalie Martin Gerber away from the Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes.

The signing of Gerber to a three-year deal worth $11.1 million, along with Ray Emery's emergence as a solid goaltender, means the Senators have no need for Hasek, who was told Saturday he would not be retained by the Senators.

"Sure, he's disappointed," general manager John Muckler said of the 40-year-old Hasek. "He was looking forward to coming back. We thought about it a long time. It wouldn't be fair to Gerber to bring him in as maybe the third goaltender.

"I think the two guys we have will be able to work well together.

Hasek, who made $1.5 million last season, was brought in to help Ottawa contend for the Stanley Cup. But the five-time Vezina Trophy winner was injured during the Olympics, and didn't return to the Senators for the rest of the season. That left Emery to backstop the Senators. While he showed flashes of brilliance, it wasn't enough to get Ottawa past the second round.

Hasek finished with a 28-10-4 record, a 2.05 goals-against average and .925 save percentage in 43 games with Ottawa. His five shutouts were tied for fourth-most in the NHL.

Muckler believes Gerber will be a stabilizing force in goal.

"We thought he was the best goalie available," Muckler said. "I think he's going to do a very good job for us. I know he played very well against us. He was the go-to guy all season long. We're happy to have him."

The Senators also wasted little time replacing departed free agents Zdeno Chara and Brian Pothier, signing ex-Los Angeles Kings defenseman Joe Corvo to an $10.5-million, four-year contract. Corvo had 14 goals and 26 assists in 81 games with the Kings this season.

"He's a very good offensive player," Muckler said. "He's a power-play good type of player, good skater, good offensive guy. He gives us more mobility on the blue line."

Muckler insisted he wasn't bitter at Chara for signing with Northeast Division-rival Boston.

"Chara will be a good hockey player for them," said Muckler, who added he isn't done with the free-agent market. "The 7.5 (million dollars per season) was certainly more than we could carry."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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