It is back to work for the boys in Blue and Gold – and one of the many casualties of the NHL Lockout for the Buffalo Sabres, is former forward Jochen Hecht.
Hecht chose to bounce across the pond and play for his hometown team of Adler Mannheim. Hecht would have been an unrestricted free agent this season.
With the new cap rules and teams having to fall under the cap space by next season, the Buffalo Sabres could be looking at Jochen for one last rodeo in an NHL sweater.
Despite sitting last year with injuries, Hecht has an impressive 13 points so far with Mannheim. While he is not leading the team in any category, his points puts him right at the mid point part of the team.
If Hecht wants to get back into the NHL – the Buffalo Sabres might be able to get a decent hometown discount on bringing Hecht back – as he has spent the last eight years with the Buffalo Sabres.
If Hecht can come back to the NHL and produce like he has for the past few seasons (last year not withstanding) it might benefit the Buffalo Sabres to have a veteran in the lineup to help some of the younger players coming up through the system.
That will all depend on whether or not the German forward will want to travel back to the United States, or if he will end his career with the two year deal he signed with Adler Mannheim. His former teammate and current captain of the Buffalo Sabres Jason Pominville played a couple of games for Mannheim this year – which coul dhave been Pommers way of gauging whether or not Hecht would be interested in a return to the Buffalo Sabres if the lockout ended. A shortened season could help Hecht’s game – at 35 years old the shorter season would not wear on his body as much.
If Hecht doesn’t come back it will be the end of his North American career which spanned 14 seasons and included stops with the Worchester Ice Cats, St. Louis Blues, and Edmonton Oilers.