BUFFALO -- Long-time NHL defenseman Teppo Numminen didn't need much convincing to take the ice again Saturday.
On the first day of full Buffalo camp, Numminen was officially named a new assistant coach of the team and happily skated during its practices. Numminen said he and Buffalo general manager Darcy Regier had informally talked about the hiring and that it gained serious traction right before preseason opened. The Sabres were Numminen's final NHL team, from where he retired after the 2008-09 season.
"We always had good talks about hockey. He said they are going to do something with me. I said, 'I'm in,'" Numminen said. "Everything is kind of new, but old. It's a great honor. I'm just really happy to be part of their (young players') career."
We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.
— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
TONIGHT ON NHL NETWORK
5:00 ET: NHL Live Powered by Constellation 7:00 ET: NHL Tonight