After an injury riddled 2011-2012 campaign and an almost four-month NHL lockout, Jochen Hecht has agreed to return to the Sabres for the 2012-2013 season, signing a one-year contract on Friday, Jan. 11.
Hecht, 35, missed 60 games last season due to numerous injuries, including one concussion that kept him out the first month of the season, and another that led him to miss the last two months of the season. In the 22 games he played last season, he notched four goals and four assists for eight points.
Hecht was acquired by the Sabres in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers in 2002, and is currently the longest tenured player on the team. Over nine seasons and 566 games with the team, including last season, Hecht has scored 133 and added 198 assists for 331 points.
After recovering from his concussion, Jochen Hecht signed a two-year contract with Adler Mannheim of the German DEL League back in December, joining fellow Sabre Jason Pominville who also had been playing there due to the NHL lockout. In six games with Adler Mannheim, Hecht scored five goals and added eight assists for 13 points.
Jason Pominville, upon arriving back in Buffalo this week, stated Hecht was healthy and interested in returning to the Sabres. This led to Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier reaching out to Hecht’s agent and ultimately inking a deal to bring Hecht back to Buffalo for this season.
Hecht is expected to arrive back in Buffalo on Saturday in time for training camp to open on Sunday.