Jochen Hecht is coming back to Buffalo.
The 35-year-old center has agreed to a one-year deal with the Sabres, according to Adler Mannheim. Hecht had been playing with the German club during the lockout.
Teams cannot officially sign players until the new collective bargaining agreement is ratified by the NHL Players' Association. The union's vote is set to conclude at 8 a.m. Saturday.
Hecht, an unrestricted free agent, has spent the last nine seasons with the Sabres. He played just 22 games last season because of concussions. He said last fall he is completely healthy.
The Sabres are in need of center depth. They have Cody Hodgson and Tyler Ennis scheduled to center the top two lines. Mikhail Grigorenko, 18, is invited to camp and is eligible for a five-game tryout before the Sabres need to decide whether to send him back to junior. Matt Ellis also plays center, while Ville Leino can play in the middle but prefers the wing.
Hecht has totaled 181 goals and 449 points in 786 games with Buffalo, Edmonton and St. Louis.