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Pominville says Sabres should sign Hecht; Regier says he’s considering it

Jan 9, 2013, 5:15 PM EDT

jochenhechtap AP

Will Jochen Hecht be back for a 10th season in Buffalo?

It sounds like things might play out that way.

The 35-year-old has received a vote of confidence from Sabres captain Jason Pominville — “He looks great. He’s healthy. He’s the same Jochen that he’s always been,” — and is now on GM Darcy Regier’s radar.

Regier is considering bringing back Hecht for another tour of duty, according to Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News. The German forward spent the lockout playing on a line with Pominville at Adler Mannheim, and appears to be over concussion issues that plagued him during the last two years.

Hecht’s four-year, $14.1 million deal with Buffalo expired in June.

A former team captain, Hecht spent the last nine seasons with the Sabres organization and was the active leader in games played, with 566.

He only appeared in 22 games in 2011-12, but is also only two years removed from a 21-goal, 42-point campaign.

The Sabres are thin at center — Cody Hodgson and Tyler Ennis project to be the top two — and could use a veteran presence like Hecht, who looked sharp playing in Germany.

“Just one of those guys who is so solid at every area of the ice and was playing really well. No health issues. Everything is fine,” Pominville explained. “He’s just staying there patiently and waiting for an opportunity to play.

“Whatever teams gets him — hopefully it’s us — they’re going to have a good player, that’s for sure.”

Related: Grigorenko will attend Sabres’ training camp

  1. tarotsujimoto74 - Jan 9, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    I would not mind him back at all as a depth player at like 1 yr 1M. When he plays, he’s a solid player. He was just getting paid way too much over his last contract.

  2. zetaone - Jan 9, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    No, dear god don’t do it! The guy has been dead weight for years. I cringe every time I watched him with the puck. He makes blind, backhand passes to empty wings that lead to instant turnovers. He has absolutely no offensive vision on the ice at all – whenever the puck gets cycled to him in the offensive zone, it just gets tied up in the boards, and the defense sends the opposition in the other direction. Any line he was put on the past 2 years, only did worse with him.

    He was mediocre at best, and greatly overpaid in his last contract.

    The only thing he was useful for was PKs.

    Give some of the young talent a shot.

  3. steelers4385 - Jan 9, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    Yaaa. Exactlly what they need. A old as dirt guy wasting cap space.

  4. thedavesiknowiknow - Jan 9, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    I’m not going to knock the guy. He did a lot of the “little things” right here for a number of years. He took a beating from local fans, basically because he didn’t score goals. In his “prime” he was one of the smarter players that have come through here without the puck (in other words, reliable).

    That said, I really, really hope Regier avoids the “feel good” story here. It doesn’t really matter how Hecht looks in the German league. In fact, if you asked me when he signed the contract there how he’d look, I’d have probably said he’d look pretty good there. 35 seems to be about the cut-off age for the average NHL athlete these days; Hecht seemed to have his at about 32-33. I’m all ears if they offer him a job scouting, somewhere in the coaching ranks (ala Teppo), etc. That’s about it.

    Then there’s the concussions. 2 severe concussions in less than a year is enough for just about anyone. Add to that however many occurred when nobody cared about head trauma, and the Sabres organization should probably realize that the last season was probably the whale that broke the camel’s back. Not like anyone missed the breakdown the guy had at practice last year, to bring him back is just irresponsible. Of course the guy wants to play, and I commend that. Of course the organization/players feel some loyalty, and that’s awesome too. There’s going to be other names out there. No need for re-treads.

  5. skoobyfl - Jan 10, 2013 at 6:43 AM

    Hope we don’t keep him.

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