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Sabres' Hecht thrilled to skate with teammates again, has no plans to retire because of concussion

TAMPA, Fla. – Jochen Hecht is trying to recover from his third concussion in the past year. He’s approaching 35 years old. He’s finishing up a $14.1 million contract.

Retirement has crossed the minds of many – but not the Sabres’ center.

"No," Hecht said today. "I don’t feel like I’m done."

Hecht, out since suffering his latest concussion Jan. 21, is back skating with his teammates. He hopes the noncontact practice sessions will eventually turn into full-throttle games.

"It was back and forth for a while there, but I’ve been feeling pretty good for a while now," Hecht said in Tampa Bay Times Forum. "Just being on the ice with the guys kind of makes my day now. I’m pretty happy about that."

Hecht has missed 44 games, including the last 24, because of two concussions suffered this season. With only 10 games left, including Monday against Tampa Bay, it’s a long shot Hecht will be able to get physically fit before the season ends.

"We still have a long way to go, but I want to be out there," Hecht said. "Hopefully, we can make the playoffs and see what happens then.

"You never want to sit out as a player. You always want to battle and fight through injuries. I think I’ve seen this year that you’ve got to give it time, let it heal, and we’ll see what comes."

---John Vogl

Jochen Hecht

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |