Teppo Numminen Named New Assistant Coach for the Buffalo Sabres
I'm not sure if this is the proper type of thing to post on this board, but I thought it'd be of interest considering he's one of the Finnish greats and has been consulting with the national team (at least for the World Championships -- congrats, by the way).
Former Sabre Teppo Numminen was also on the ice with the team. He’s been added as an assistant coach to Ruff’s staff for the upcoming season.
“He’s going to be the guy upstairs on the headset,” Ruff said. “In the past we’ve had various people fill that role and now we’re going to have a full-time assistant do it. His role is going to be helping out on the player development side with the younger defensemen. James’ role has elevated during games so he’s going to give us a little bit of a European flair."”
After talking with Numminen a few times over the summer, he and general manager Darcy Regier made the decision to hire the 43-year-old former defenseman, who retired in 2009. They shared the news with him on Thursday.
“[Coaching has] been in the back of my mind. When I was playing, when I was young, I said, that’s the last thing I want to do, be a coach,” Numminen said. “My dad was a coach; he was a national team coach. So as a family I grew there with all the good times and bad times.”
As he grew older, he realized that coaching would be coming up in his future and would be something he might be interested in pursuing. In leading as a veteran player, he also saw that, in a way, he was acting as a coach to the younger players.
“Retiring two years ago, [I realized] that I really care about the game and it’s still a passion for myself and [I] couldn’t get rid of the game,” Numminen said. “So then just a great opportunity came and I’m just excited it worked out.”
With Leino on the ice, Armia in the pipeline, and Numminen working with the defensemen, Buffalo's building a nice little Suomi niche in "Hockey Heaven". It should add a little something special to the game in Helsinki. Not only am I pleased with each of these individual moves, but Finland's always been one of my favorite hockey countries. Apologies if this is irrelevant to the board.
Don't worry, it's not irrelevant. Great news for Teppo, he could have a good career in coaching, just like he had as a player.
Tappara would need a new head coach...
Many of us Sabres fans have been hoping he'd join the staff since he retired. He had "coach" written all over him in his career twilight stint with Buffalo, just as James Patrick did before coming a very good assistant for us.
Originally Posted by Finnpin
That's good for Teppo and the Sabres...
Ducks will have more cheers in Helsinki but I'm sure Sabres gets a share too.
For sure, and they should. I'm so excited about Selanne coming back. He's been one of my favorite players since an early rookie game I saw as a kid, and his post-lockout resurgence is one of the best stories in the NHL. Lydman is another of my favorite players; Sabres fans were really upset when we let both he AND Tallinder go last summer. He had a fantastic year for the Ducks and hopefully that continues for him.