Friday, September 14, 2007

Numminen needs heart surgery.

Teppo Numminen, a defenceman with the Buffalo Sabres, will undergo heart surgery on Thursday. He previously had two cardiac ablations, one before the lockout and the other last summer, to correct an irregular heartbeat but this third procedure is unrelated to the previous two.

The current heart problem was discovered the other day during a physical examination.

In addition to this, the Sabres have decided to suspend Numminen for failing to show up to camp in good physical condition (sounds like something you'd hand out to a player who had gained 50 pounds over the summer), supposedly so that they don't have to pay him one penny of his $2.6M contract unless and until he returns to the team.

It's a really odd decision on behalf of GM Darcy Regier because the Sabres are not up against the salary cap and can afford to bring in another defenceman if need be. In addition, Numminen could have been placed on long term IR once the season began to free up more cap space.

I know that the Sabres are a small market team and need to be tight with the payroll, but this is ridiculous and it bothers me to no end. To suspend a player for having a serious illness is simply classless, and I suspect that the Sabres will be heavily criticized for it. If Numminen had been diagnosed with cancer, would the Sabres have made the same move? I would hope not, but now I'm not so sure.

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