Vulgar Opinions: Why I Like The Teppo Numminen Hiring (SFW)
The Sabres hired Teppo Numminen as an assistant coach. For reals. There are plenty of reasons to like this move. Numminen was and is an intelligent hockey mind and his accolades extend far and wide through the voices and minds of NHL players. Plus it’s always nice to see one of our guys (one of Winnipeg’s/Phoenix’s, but who’s keeping track) return home after a long and successful career.
Me, I like Teppo Numminen’s nationality. Though things might not be as difficult as they once were, you’ll still find scores of European players that talk about how difficult it is to transition to playing a different style of hockey in a foreign country. Buffalo’s own Thomas Vanek has detailed his own struggles coming over from Austria on a few occasions. Being thrust into a locker room full of native North Americans and (more importantly) English speakers cannot be easy, and while Teppo might not be a great cultural liaison as far as we know, at the very least he knows what it’s like to come from the other side of the pond and can (hopefully) help future players with that transition.