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NUMMINEN VISITS SABRES PRACTICE

Thursday, 10.04.2007 / 5:31 PM / News
By Brian Wheeler  - Sabres.com
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NUMMINEN VISITS SABRES PRACTICE
Defenseman Teppo Numminen
The Buffalo Sabres received an emotional lift just two days before they open the regular season against the New York Islanders.

Defenseman Teppo Numminen returned to HSBC Arena for the first time since undergoing corrective heart surgery on a faulty heart valve in Cleveland, O.H. in late September.

Numminen was in high spirits as he watched the team practice on Wednesday morning.

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Video: Teppo Numminen Interview




"I feel good, really good," said Numminen.  "Things are going well and every day I'm feeling better.

"It was a great day for me to come here.  It's just exciting to see everybody and you really come to appreciate what you have."

The 18-year NHL veteran stated that his surgery was a complete success and that he should have a full recovery.

Numminen is currently restricted from physical activity and from operating an automobile for the next six weeks until his ribs heal from the procedure.  Currently, he has been taking walks for exercise, but is hopeful that he can begin riding a stationary bicycle later next week.

"It's been amazing what one day makes," said Numminen.  "Everyday, I've been feeling better.  There is actually no pain right now.

"I'll start going to rehab next week [in Buffalo].  We'll see how things are going to go.  I think that six-week [period] is the main cure.  It's the major date to make sure that everything heals well.

"After that, I think it's back to hockey stuff."

Numminen said that he would make his decision whether or not to return to the Sabres lineup once the six-week term is completed and not before.

"It's exciting to be here again," said Numminen.  "I promised myself before the surgery that I'm not going to make any decisions before I'm healthy. 

"You get so emotional and you go through so many thoughts and things during at the time.  So right now, I'm concentrating on getting healthy and then moving on."

Numminen learned he required surgery after a routine checkup in Cleveland earlier in September. Barring complications in his recovery, the 39-year-old said prior to the surgery that he's determined to resume playing and could return to the lineup as soon as December.

The Finnish player has had a heart murmur since childhood and was diagnosed with a dilated aorta in March 2004, when he was playing for the Dallas Stars. Numminen missed five games because of the condition before he was cleared to play.

The condition also forced him to miss one game and part of another during a playoff series against Philadelphia in spring 2006.

Numminen said he's had two "procedures" to alleviate the problem, but noted this time it's different. He said doctors would work on his heart by opening his rib cage.

"They said I should be able to do everything that I had done in the past," said Numminen.  "Everything should be normal and I should be 100 percent."

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82