8. Don't Mess With 'The Dominator'
Throughout an illustrious 16-year career Dominik Hasek established himself as one of the best goalies in the history of the NHL. He earned himself the nickname the "Dominator" and won accolades throughout his career, including six Vezina Trophies (top goaltender in NHL) and back-to-back Hart Memorial Trophies (League MVP). In fact, his resume would likely be close to perfect if it weren’t for an incident involving Buffalo News columnist Jim Kelley in 1997.
While playing for the Sabres during the ’97 season, several media outlets reported that Hasek and head coach Ted Nolan had a strained relationship. Throughout the season tensions built up until they finally boiled over during the playoffs. After suffering a knee injury in Game 3 of their first-round series, Hasek pulled himself out of the game early. Media members and players alike speculated that he was using the injury to give up on the team. One was Kelley, who wrote a piece that questioned the goalie's mental toughness and revealed details about Hasek’s rift with Nolan. Hasek, unhappy with the story, yelled at Kelley then ripped his shirt before the tussle was broken up.
The NHL hit Hasek with a $10,000 fine and suspended him for three games for the incident. Although the Sabres won that opening series in seven games, Hasek claimed he was still too injured to play and sat out the entire second-round series against the Flyers, which Buffalo lost in five games.