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Some blood, no foul

Prosecutors won't charge Hasek in hockey assault

Posted: Friday August 08, 2003 11:18 AM

PRAGUE, Czech Republic (AP) -- A Czech prosecutor declined to press charges against ice hockey star Dominik Hasek for a fight during an inline hockey match, an official said Friday.

 
CuJo gets dumped
SI.com's David Vecsey 
It's easy to understand the lure of Dominik Hasek. Few goalies have ever presented such a strong psychological edge, and though he is aloof in the clubhouse, no teammate has ever felt a lack of confidence in Hasek when he steps between the pipes.

But you know what? When the Wings needed Curtis Joseph to fill the void, he was there for them. And I believe they owed him a little loyalty and a little respect.
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Prosecutor Lenka Strnadova said there was no evidence that the NHL goalie caused bodily harm to forward Martin Sila during the May 18 incident in Hasek's hometown, Pardubice. "Criminal charges will not be pressed," Strnadova said.

Police had recommended last month that the Detroit Red Wings superstar face criminal charges for causing bodily harm in the fight, which prompted Sila to be hospitalized for three days. Police based their recommendation on eyewitness accounts and medical records, but declined to be specific.

Strnadova said there was no evidence of bodily harm, but did not elaborate on how she reached her conclusion.

"I am glad the whole matter is over and I can fully concentrate on ... the forthcoming hockey season," Hasek said in a statement Friday.

Hasek's lawyer Pavel Jelinek said in a statement Friday that media reports about the incident were exaggerated.

"In fact, Mr. Sila did not have any fractures, not a broken nose, no teeth knocked out, no cuts, not a single scratch or bruise," Jelinek said.

If found guilty, Hasek would have faced up to eight years in prison.

Strnadova ordered that the case be treated as misdemeanor. Hasek now faces a maximum fine of 3,000 koruna (US$95).

Sila can appeal Strnadova's decision, which can be overruled by the country's supreme prosecutor.

Hasek is a six-time Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL's best goalie and two-time Hart Trophy winner as the league's most valuable player. He was a 1998 Olympic gold medalist in Nagano.

He came out of retirement several weeks after the checking incident and returned to Detroit.


 
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