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NUMMINEN WEIGHING OPTIONS

Wednesday, 04.15.2009 / 2:44 PM / Features
By Erin Pollina  - Sabres.com
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NUMMINEN WEIGHING OPTIONS
Teppo Numminen (Photo: Getty Images)
It was a familiar scene for Teppo Numminen.

Clearing out his stall in the Buffalo Sabres locker room, cameras began to roll as the defenseman fielded questions from reporters.

  Maxim Afinogenov: Video
  Ryan Miller: Video
  Teppo Numminen: Video
  Craig Rivet: Video
  Derek Roy: Video










But it was not because he had done so for 19 other NHL seasons that this situation resonated with a feeling of déjà-vu – it was, rather, the inquiries about his future that the 40-year-old answered that seemed routine.

This time around, however, his responses were a little less certain as he weighed the possibilities of either returning or retiring.

“I don’t intend anything,” Numminen said. “I just intend to take a little vacation and go home, see the kids. Seriously, just take a couple weeks off… hopefully get to Cleveland, see the doctors… see how my condition is… and start from there. That is the first step.”

Last season, as the Sabres packed up the dressing room, Numminen was coming off a high of sorts. The veteran had suited up for Buffalo’s season finale in Boston after missing the first 81 games of the 2007-08 year, recovering from open heart surgery.

While the game was not a factor in the standings, it meant the world to Numminen who feared he may never return to the League.

That feeling is far behind him now.

Numminen returned in 2008-09 to play in 57 games, recording 17 points (2+15) for a total of 1,372 career games and 637 career points (117+520).

Proving that he could not only return, but compete in the League after the procedure has some wondering if he has accomplished what he came to do in his 20th NHL campaign. After all, Numminen was a healthy scratch for the majority of March and April to make room for a young defenseman in Chris Butler.

“It might make you hungrier, it might make you feel like you can’t play anymore,” Numminen said. “It was part of the season but I don’t know how that is going to affect my decision… you have to get some time with your family and look at the situation to really know all there is to know.

“You don’t want to be around if you can’t play… that’s something you’re afraid of and want to make sure that’s not the case.”

What Numminen is sure of, is that he will remain in Buffalo next winter regardless of his decision.

“The last four years it’s been my only choice,” Numminen said. “There are a lot of great memories and it’s been really special.

“It became our home. It’s a comfortable place for us and a good place to live.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
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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