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.”