Thread: Confirmed with Link: Jochen Hecht - 1 year, $1 million cap hit
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02-21-2013, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Zip15 View Post
I do look at other things, sure. I've seen the unwillingness to engage in puck battles and, at times, refusal to take a hit to maybe make a better play. But I also think you underestimate subjective things like his calmness when the puck is on his stick in the defensive zone.

I don't think Hecht is a perfect player by any stretch. I've said on numerous occasions that he should be on a 4th line, and would be but for poor roster-building by Regier--and everyone can agree that isn't Hecht's or any player's fault. At the same time, I think he's been fine in his role--which is all you can ask of a role player. He's neither expected to be, nor compensated to be one of the team's bellcows. On the list of the team's problems, I don't think he's near the top.

I'm actually fine with it. He may give us a bump in the first few games, but those players tend to level out over time. Over the long-term, I don't see him making a big difference one way or another.
Now this is real hockey conversation. I'll drop the sarcastic tone as well.

I like how Hecht can still carry the puck. He's still the smooth skater he always was. He's still exceptional with the puck on his stick between the blue lines. He still knows where to be in the defensive zone, specifically on the penalty kill. But that's a trait that can be taught to any intelligent player. Those are really the only positives I've seen in his game.

I definitely didn't want him back, and couldn't believe it when the news came in that he had agreed to a 1 year deal. I chalked it up to typical Lindy playing his typical player favorites game again; and I know you agree that Lindy has over-used him. I really don't think Hecht would be in the NHL if the Sabres had fired Ruff at the end of last season. Of course, I can't prove that. But it's extremely likely to have been the case.

As for the list of the team's problems, I look at Hecht as a great example of the Buffalo Sabres issues, up until they fired Ruff yesterday. In my opinion, he didn't deserve to come back and I'm frankly surprised that this organization was willing to possibly risk the man's entire life after hockey by allowing him to come back. It's a move that reeked of desperation. It reeked of staleness, and it is quite stale. Even before his multiple concussions last year, he was a shell of himself. He's far too soft, he's not a leader by any stretch of the imagination, and for a solid penalty killer, he's not at all a shot blocker. He's not been a player that goes to the tough areas of the ice, nor does he pay the price that this team sorely needs its players to pay.

On to Porter, he'll actually bring those intangibles. The leadership by example. The willingness to pay the price..going hard to the dirty areas..making it tougher to play against this team, etc. Hecht doesn't make it hard for anyone to play against this team. He actually makes it easier.

There is a small chance that Kevin Porter sticks, and that alone makes him more valuable than Hecht for me. Hecht probably won't even finish the season here, and it won't be because of injury. There's a small chance that Porter rediscovers his game at the NHL level as well. I didn't want the presence players like Hecht to prevent that possibilty from happening.

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