The Sabres have announced that 40-year-old Teppo Numminen has signed with the team and will return for another season.
The deal is for one year and $1.1 million. The salary is a $1.5 million pay cut from last season, a season in which he played only one game due to problems with his heart.
Numminen and the Sabres settled the grievance he filed against the team before the new contract was finalized. The grievance was due to the Sabres suspending Numminen while he missed last season after having heart valve surgery at The Cleveland Clinic to correct a congenital murmur.
It is expected Numminen, who is a quiet on-ice leader and was sorely missed by the team from a leadership standpoint last season, will play in the top six with and groom Sabres top prospect Andrej Sekera. He did this in the past with other young defensemen such as Nathan Paetsch and Brian Campbell.
In an interview with Mike Schopp on WGR550 in Buffalo, Darcy Regier said health is not an issue with Numminen, and if healthy, he will play every game. Regier also stated that Sekera, Weber, Paetsch, and Funk will have the opportunity to compete for starting positions with the club.
Realistically, the signing probably places Paetsch as the seventh man on the depth chart, and moves Mike Weber and Mike Funk who will probably start the season with AHL affiliate Portland Pirates.
Regier stated that trade activity is very slow and chatter is very quiet in the league right now, as most teams are looking at players such as Glen Murray who were bought out of their contract instead of searching for deals.
In other announcements, the team has signed Tyler Bouck to a new deal. Bouck was the captain for the Portland Pirates last season. He recorded 11 goals and 18 assists in 79 games last year in the AHL.
Also, the Sabres have announced that the Pirates will play a regular season game in the HSBC Arena against the Albany River Rats on Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m.
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