2011-2012 Buffalo Sabres Report Cards: Jochen Hecht

With the 2011-12 Buffalo Sabres ending in disappointment and after a few weeks for us to gather our thoughts, it's time for us to issue our report cards on the season. Over the next few weeks, we'll grade every player that wore a Buffalo Sabres uniform in 2011 and 2012, from Luke Adam to Mike Weber.

2011 - Jochen Hecht 22 4 4 8 1 6 0 1 0 40

Introduction: Let's get the elephant in the room out of the way first - Jochen Hecht missed 53 games this season thanks to two separate concussions this season, and he has now had three concussions in the past year. While he has expressed tearful desires to return to Buffalo, there's a better than average chance that he won't be, and his head injuries have made his future as an NHL player come into doubt.

Hecht is (was?) the longest tenured Sabre, being acquired by the team via trade in 2001, and was the consummate "Lindy Ruff forward" - hard working, responsible in his own zone, with a mild amount of offense. He loved taking shots from horrible angles, and helped balance out the Euopean-to-North American quotient on the Sabres roster. Though he had an abbreviated campaign, let's take a closer look at it after the break.

Key Stat: All of Hecht's stats are highly average, and we've already covered his concussions above, so how about this little number - Hecht is known as a defensively responsible forward, right? Not a guy you'd have to hide by avoiding putting him out for defensive zone faceoffs, right? Would it surprise you that Hecht led the team in highest percentage of offensive zone starts, at 57.8%? It wouldn't, thanks to my heavy-handed set-up, you say? Well then.

Thumbs Up: Despite only playing in 22 games, if you extrapolate Hecht's numbers out to a full season, he would have been 8th on the team in points, at somewhere around the sad number of 30. If you do the same for hits and blocked shots, Hecht would have likely finished in the top 10 on the team in both categories. He also was in the top 10 players in goals per 60 minutes, and was the best player on the team at not taking penalties. Hecht was one of only four players to score a shorty for Buffalo this season,

Thumbs Down: Hecht has never been good in the faceoff circle, and his 45.6% win percentage is bad, bad, bad for someone who took 25% of the team's faceoffs. Hecht wasn't great on the PK this year despite getting significant PK time. Had more giveaways than takeaways, and let's bring up again the whole three concussions in a year thing.

Voting: On a scale of one to ten, one being the lowest and ten being the highest, grade Jochen Hecht on his season according to the expectations you had for him. If he met them, give him a five or a six. If he eclipsed them, aim for a seven or beyond. If he failed to meet them, give him a lower number relating to how poorly he missed the target.

On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest, how would you rate Nathan Gerbe for his 2011-12 season?