Six years before he would make his NHL debut, goaltender Dominik Hasek was 19 years old, plying his trade with Tesla Pardubice in Czechoslovakia. This is the Tesla Pardubice team photo from the 1984-85 season, with Hasek in the front row, third from the right.
Here is a closer look at Hasek and his Beatles haircut:
The back of the photo lists out every player’s name, and also has facsimile autographs from the players. Hasek’s signature is second from the top on the right.
Also on the team is Frantisek Musil (back row, third from left), who also went on to a very respectable 14-year NHL career.
I purchased this photo at The National Sports Collectors Convention way back in 2011 The National had a section of dealers who specialized in Olympic-themed collectibles. One dealer from Europe had a ton of Soviet-era team photos. Unfortunately, his asking prices for most things was way too expensive — around $20 and up. However, I was able to nab this 5″ by 7″ gem featuring Hasek for $5.
I love collecting items, especially from Europe, that show players before they made it to the NHL. And years before Hasek would go onto win six Vezina Trophies, two Hart Trophies, two Jennings Trophies and two Pearason Awards, he was just a simple kid with a mop-top haircut. ■
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk.