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Another Great Buffalo Sabres Player Departs: Teppo Numminen Retires

BUFFALO, NY - APRIL 20:  Teppo Numminen #27 of the Buffalo Sabres skates against the New York Islanders during Game 5 of the NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on April 20, 2007 at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York. The Sabres defeated the Islanders 4-3.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Kyle RichardsonCorrespondent IAugust 5, 2009

The Sabres' lineup is beginning to look quite different from its 2005-2006 roster, when they took Carolina to seven games with a flurry of stars including Danny Briere, Chris Drury, Brian Campbell, Ales Kotalik, and the most recent departure, Teppo Numminen.

Early Tuesday, it was reported in Finland, Numminen's home country, that he will not return to Buffalo; instead, he will retire, most likely due to a heart problem that was discovered prior to the '07-08 season.

Numminen, one of the most successful Finnish hockey players in NHL history, missed every game but one that year after undergoing open-heart surgery.

He skated in 57 games for the Sabres last season, recording two goals and 15 assists as a defensemen.

No. 27 played 20 seasons in the NHL, including three (minus '07-'08) with the Sabres.

He played in all sixteen games during Buffalo's 2006 playoff run and recorded four assists with a plus/minus of 10.

Numminen is ranked 39th in NHL history in games played with 1,372. He also played in four Winter Olympics—'88, '98, '02, and '06—with his native country Finland, getting a bronze and two silver medals. 

A sure defensive stopper for the Sabres, Numminen will surely be missed.

"We know we're not the most talented team, but we knew the way we could beat these teams was by playing great team defense," Numminen once said after a game.

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