Dominik Hasek, who helped the Czech Republic win an Olympic gold medal and the Buffalo Sabres reach the NHL finals, will retire at the end of next season, according to reports.
The 34-year-old goaltender scheduled a news conference Thursday in Prague, and was expected to say he'd retire after next season rather than play out the remaining two years of his contract.
WKBW-TV and WGR radio both said Hasek had decided to play one more season.
The NHL said in a statement that Hasek and the Sabres planned a news conference in the Czech Republic capital "to discuss the future of Hasek's hockey career."
Hasek, the league's most valuable player in 1997 and 1998 and a five-time choice as its best goalie, struggled much of last season with a groin injury. Despite that, he helped the Sabres reach the Stanley Cup finals, losing to Dallas in six games.
The Canadian Press said that Rich Winter of Edmonton, Hasek's agent, was en route to Prague and unavailable for comment. Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier wasn't scheduled to be present in Prague, the Canadien Press said.
Hasek, known for flopping to the ice to block shots and even releasing his stick so as to have two hands to grab the puck, was paid $7 million last season. Only Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche, who made $7.5 million, had a higher salary among goalies.
For all of his NHL accolades, however, Hasek's career highlight came not in the playoffs but in the 1998 Winter Olympics, when he helped his native Czech Republic win the gold medal in Nagano, Japan.
Buffalo acquired Hasek in 1992 in a trade from Chicago, where he had been a backup to Ed Belfour.
Belfour was in goal for Dallas when the Stars beat the Sabres on a controversial triple-overtime goal by Brett Hull in Game 6. Hull's skate was in the crease, but the goal was allowed.