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An interview with the hockey legend on his inability to find true love and other things.

Fast confession - Dominik Hašek: I’ll Sooner be President than Find Love!

Tereza Janatová
26.May 2017
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6 minutes

The charmer spoke to us about his business plans, about which woman is the only right one for him, and why he doesn’t expect another love in his life.

So, can you tell us how has the life of a retired hockey legend been treating you? How do you spend your time after retiring?

It’s a completely different life. When someone does something all his life, with a clearly defined program and schedule – trainings, matches, preparation – and suddenly, there’s the emptiness. Every former sportsman must get used to the fact that this will happen, sooner or later. I was searching for something that would hold my interest. A lifestyle that would make me satisfied. Basically, I’m trying to live my life in a way that I find entertaining.

What specific things did you use to fill your time?

One thing is business – that’s probably what makes me the most content – but there are also other things than just duties and obligations. I bought a dog and spend a lot of time hunting, I also like biking and sometimes play hockey, soccer or “foot tennis” with my friends.

And what makes you the happiest?

That’s hard to say. Sometimes there’s a lot to do. It’s also an obligation to take care of a dog, but if I had nothing like that in my life, I wouldn’t really be happy.

Luxusní vila na prodej - Klánovice - 465m
Luxusní vila na prodej - Klánovice - 465m, Praha 9

Are you ever bored?

Right now it’s quite rare, and that’s also important, because, as I often say, there’s nothing worse than waking up, looking at the ceiling and not knowing what you’ll do. And I’ve had that happen to me. It’s nice to have that for, say, at most fourteen days, but it goes downhill after that. Thanks to my business and hobbies, I luckily don’t have that anymore.

How many times did you have to wake up like that before you managed to find a new direction for your life?

Well, when you quite, you don’t really feel anything bad in the first two or three months. It was summer, and I was enjoying myself. But it was different. When you play, well, you enjoy the summer knowing that you’ll start playing in autumn, so you then start training again. It was all goal-focused, I always had sight of the end goal – preparing for the season, which began in September. But suddenly, there was no goal. It took a year, two. Certainly not just months. I always knew that I wanted to do something, that I wanted to build something. I just didn’t know what it was exactly. But then I found this – Smarty.

What convinced you that this will be the right way to go for you?

It was coincidence. We were in Germany, there was some charity hockey tournament. I was contacted by someone who makes drinks and wanted me to advertise them at home and in northern Europe. I nearly agreed to sign a contract making me their distributor, but in the end decided to instead found my own brand.

So, basically, during the negotiations you thought: “Well, why can’t I have my own brand”?

Exactly. Furthermore, I didn’t like some of the advertising methods that were being used, and didn’t simply find it a good match for my style. If you make something on your own, well, you always give a bit of yourself into it. I’m happy that I can give my true self to this. I like that I’ve made this all in my own, “from scratch” – product development, design, name, logo, all the negotiations. Of course with people who helped me do all of this.

I noticed that in the past you said that Smarty still isn’t making money, that people aren’t taking the drink seriously. Why do you think that is?

I know how much I should sell of which drink and what I should be getting back for the project to start making money. Right now, sales are about three times lower than costs.

What will you do to change that?

Two things. I need to convince retailers that they should buy our drinks, and then people that they should try them out.

And what’s harder?

Both are very difficult. 

If a compare the profession of a successful hockey legend and a beginning entrepreneur, well, in the first case people believed in you and now you’re advertising a drink people are not completely convinced of. Suddenly, you’re on the other side. How does that feel?

You’re absolutely right! It’s good that you said it that way. Usually, nobody will say it directly, but you can feel it from their reactions. But I knew in advance that that it would be like that. I’m not surprised. It’s about the product, and you need to convince people about it. Sales are on the rise, but I need them to grow two or three times faster. It’s hard work, but that makes it all the more rewarding when you do get some success. We need to get to gas stations, retail shops. Right now we’re in Tesco, Macro, Rossmann, partially in Žabka shops, but we need to be in ten, fifteen retail chains.

A famous name can often open doors, but sometimes also closes them. Do you think that in this case the name “Dominik Hašek” complicates things? Maybe if it was someone unknown doing this, it would go better.

It’s hard for me to say. It’s true that if I call someone by phone, well, sometimes it can open up doors, but it won’t sell a drink. They’ll hear you out in negotiations, and perhaps the boss and employees will take a picture with you… but then it’s even more frustrating when you believe that you’re offering an excellent product, and it still doesn’t work out. But you can’t let that discourage you.

And is it always you negotiating with these people? A lot of celebrities start their own business and then entrust it to a friend, who then works on their behalf. That’s also often one of the reasons many celebrities go bankrupt. 

I’m Smarty, and I want to have the responsibility. When my employee doesn’t do their job well, it ends up on my desk anyway. And I accept that. I want the responsibility – with all the good and the bad that comes with it. But sometimes it does happen that I start something, and then someone else gets to take care of the details.

So, business is now your number one priority?

Definitely. And, well, I also said that I now have a dog.

What’s his name?


Byt s výhledem na Prahu - Karlín - 308m
Byt s výhledem na Prahu - Karlín - 308m, Praha 8

And love? 

No, not anymore.

You don’t want anyone anymore?

No. I’ve already had two breakups and am not searching for anyone now.

But love usually enters your life unexpectedly. You say that you’re not searching, but it might still come.

I think that won’t happen; not anymore. I’ve already been in love twice, and I think that it won’t happen again.

Well, never say never!

That’s true, but I think that not anymore, not in this case.

So love only for your daughter? Does she still sing?

She even composes. She’s in her third year at a music school in Leeds.

How often do you see each other?

About three times a year.

Isn’t it too little?

Well, I view it as her going after her own dream. She comes home in winter and in summer.

And where would she like to live?

I think she doesn’t care. It’s not something she dwells on; she said she’ll see where the wind takes her. She did mention something about France, England, the U.S., and Prague being options. Maybe it will depend on where she finds her love.

And you, would you like to go back abroad?

No. In the past two years, I didn’t really even go anywhere on vacation. I only go to the U.S. sometimes, because I have my own charity there with the Buffalo Sabres. So I go there on business once or twice a year. But I usually go on vacation to Šumava or skiing to Krkonoše. I love it here; I’m happy here.

Did you become a loner?

That depends. I like having people around me, but I can also definitely imagine being without them. Sometimes I go for a beer, frequently go play hockey or table football, but on the other hand I live along with my dog and I love the environment I live in. In this sense, I guess I’m a loner. I don’t miss staying up late at night, but when the situation is right I don’t avoid it either.

And all that craziness around you, you don’t miss that? 

Well, everything has its pros and cons. When I come somewhere, they know who I am; and if I don’t want to be recognized, I take a cap.

Does the cap help?

Sometimes. (laughter) Of course, it’s not the same as when we won the Olympics, it’s different now. But I take it as it is.

When you won the Olympics, people were changing: “Hašek for president!” Did you give it at least a little bit of thought?

One hour after the game, our then-president Havel called me and mentioned exactly that. So I told him: “Don’t worry, I want to continue playing hockey.”

But you don’t play anymore. (laughing)

Now I have different interests. But who knows what’ll happen in five, ten years. I leave these things open. I even see it as being more open than the possibility of a new love. I think that becoming a president is much more probable than finding a new lady in my life. (laughing)

Fast confession:

Are you an optimist or pessimist?


Jagr or Crosby?

Jarda (Jagr).

Your favorite color?


Blondes or brunettes?


Life in the U.S. or in the Czech Republic?

In the Czech Republic.

Buffalo, Detroit or Pardubice?

Buffalo, Detroit, Pardubice. Or vice-versa. It doesn’t matter!

Czech or American girls?

Czech girls.

Love or money?

Love. Definitely!

What’s your favorite food?

I made some goulash just now… and Svíčková (beef sirloin)! Knedlo-vepřo-zelo (Typical Czech meal consisting of beef, dumplings, and cabbage)! So good!

Chocolate or vanilla ice cream?

Definitely vanilla.

What’s your favorite soccer team?

Barcelona and Nový Knín.

Who’s the most sexy woman in the world for you?

I have none.

What’s the most sexy thing for you?

I myself, complete and with everything. (laughter)

What pisses you off the most?

I can’t even say that here. A few people in our political scene.
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