On the first day of training camp you'd expect any big surprises to come from the players on the ice, not the guys behind the bench.
But when reporters showed up to the opening day of camp, they found, surprise, surprise, that Teppo Numminen has rejoined the Buffalo Sabres as an assistant coach, joining James Patrick and Kevyn Adams as members of Lindy Ruff's staff.
Numminen, who found out about the job on Thursday, will not be behind the bench per se because he'll be spending game time watching from the press box, connected to the team through a headset that will allow him to talk with the other assistant coaches. He will also play a role in helping to develop young defensemen, of which the Sabres have plenty.
Here's Lindy Ruff on Numminen's role, from Sabres.com:
"He’s going to be the guy upstairs on the headset," Ruff said. "In the past we’ve had various people fill that role and now we’re going to have a full-time assistant do it. His role is going to be helping out on the player development side with the younger defensemen. James’ role has elevated during games so he’s going to give us a little bit of a European flair."
This will be Numminen's first coaching job after spending 20 years in the NHL as a player, four of them with Buffalo.