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
In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.
The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.
At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.
As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.
The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.
All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.
The Los Angeles Kings announced today that they have “reached an agreement with Mike Richards to resolve the grievance filed in relation to the termination of his NHL Standard Players Contract. The terms are agreeable to all parties.”
The club said that it will not be commenting further “on the terms” of the settlement.
The NHLPA released a similar statement.
It was reported earlier in the week that a settlement was close to being reached; however, it wasn’t clear what salary-cap penalties the Kings would incur.
We’re starting to find out some details now:
How the final numbers differ from what the Kings would have incurred if they’d bought Richards out will be interesting to see. And if there are differences, how will they be justified?