By Gennady Fyodorov
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Former NHL All-Star goaltender Dominik Hasek will play next season for Spartak Moscow after signing a one-year contract with the Continental Hockey League (KHL) club on Monday.
"It's a start of a new career for me here in Moscow," the 45-year-old, who came out of retirement last year to play for Pardubice in his native Czech Republic, told reporters.
His best years were with the Buffalo Sabres where he won the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player in 1997 and 1998 and also claimed the Vezina Trophy as the best netminder six times.
He also led the Czechs to the gold medal at the 1998 Nagano Games when leading NHL players were allowed to take part in the Olympics for the first time.
Hasek becomes the latest high-profile player to move to the KHL, which was formed in 2008 with teams from Russia, Belarus, Latvia and Kazakhstan, joining former NHL All-Star forwards Jaromir Jagr and Sergei Fedorov.
"I can't deny money did play a role in my decision to play in Russia but it wasn't a major factor," Hasek told Reuters.
"It's a big change and a big challenge but I'm very excited to play for Spartak, a club with such a great history."
Hasek said he had spoken with fellow Czech Jagr, who has been playing for Siberian club Avangard Omsk since 2008, about the life in the KHL: "I also talked to my brother Martin who played one season (2004) for Dynamo Moscow soccer club."
Hasek was vague about how long his new career would last but said he would not try to match Canadian Gordie Howe's record.
"He (Howe) was my idol because he played for Detroit but he was an exception," Hasek said, referring to the Hall of Famer, who retired in 1980, aged 52, after a 34-year professional career.
(Editing by Justin Palmer)