Buffalo Sabres defenseman Teppo Numminen will need to have heart surgery after a cardiac condition was discovered during a physical prior to training camp, the team announced on Thursday.
Numminen, who had two goals and 27 assists in 79 games last season, has twice had his heart operated on in the past. The last time was in the summer of 2006, when he had a procedure performed at the Cleveland Clinic to correct an irregular heartbeat. He also had a procedure done in 2004 due to a dilated aorta.
It is unclear how long it will take for Numminen to return to play.
"How it relates to his career is still a work in progress and a little bit unknown," said general manager Darcy Regier. "We'll just have to assess it on a day-to-day basis. I had a short discussion with him and wished him luck."
Over an 18-year career he has played in 1,314 games and has totaled 115 goals and 505 assists. He spent his first 15 seasons with the Winnipeg/Phoenix organization, the 2003-04 season in
He signed a one-year contract with