The news for G Dominik Hasek and the Sabres gets worse by the day. Team doctors yesterday said Hasek suffered a 90 percent tear of his right groin muscle during Friday's game against the Panthers and will be out for an "extended period of time."

"We're talking months, not weeks," said Les Bisson, the team's doctor.

It's not yet known if Hasek, who missed a month last season with a groin injury that was eventually diagnosed as a hernia and required surgery, will need to undergo another surgery. Hasek has been ordered to rest for at least three weeks before beginning rehabilitation.

SEEKING ASSISTANCE: Canadian Industry Minister John Manley said that all involved parties must give more financial help to NHL teams, not just the Ontario government.

Ontario Finance Minister Ernie Eves said last week he will create a new tax class for private professional sporting facilities, cutting the province's share in property taxes by about $10.5 million per year. The move, which will be undertaken in cooperation with municipalities, could help keep the Senators from relocating. But Manley pointed out that other provinces have not said they'd follow Ontario's lead, and neither the NHL nor the NHL Players Association have offered to help.