Why Jochen Hecht Is the Buffalo Sabres’ Biggest Woe
Most of the discussion recently regarding the Sabres is the key injuries to Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek and all the rumors going around as the trade deadline creeps closer and closer. Names that are appearing most frequent are Tim Connolly, Ales Kotalik, Maxim Afinogenov, and Daniel Paille...and Jochen Hecht.
But wait just a minute. This is Jochen Hecht. This guy wears an A on the front of his jersey. Isn't this the guy who re-signed in the offseason for four years at $14.1 million?
Jochen Hecht, where art thou?
Hecht has just 19 points this season (7G, 12A) and has a minus-13 rating. Last season, he had 49 points and a plus-1 rating. At times this season, he has been put on the fourth line by Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff. Even after the slap in the face, has he responded? NO!
Hecht has been the guy this season that can't clear the puck in the defensive zone. That doesn't look very impressive when he's killing penalties either. He's been the guy who gets open but doesn't expect the pass to come his way.
He never looks set to make a play. It's hard to tell what style of play fits Hecht the best. He definitely hasn't been a sniper this season, he's an average play-maker at best and he's not the most physical guy to be considered a grinder.
So the question is what do you do with this guy? The Sabres' organization has not been known to let guys who are signed long-term just go, either by trade or waivers. The Sabres are a "wait it out and see theory" organization. They will obviously be looking at dealing the free agents before anything is done with Hecht.
So for now, Hecht is a Sabre and will most likely remain a Sabre, but he needs to step up his game soon or more squawking is going to continue about him. And it won't be the squawking coming from the Pidgeon Award that the Sabres' players have going inside the team.