|Born||July 3, 1968 (1968-07-03) |
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight||198 lb (90 kg; 14 st 2 lb)|
|Played for||Tappara (SM-liiga)|
Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes
|National team||Template:Country data FIN|
|NHL Draft||29th overall, 1986|
Teppo Numminen (born Teppo Kalevi Numminen on July 3, 1968) is a Finnish retired professional ice hockey defenceman who played in the National Hockey League (NHL).
He was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft 29th overall.
Teppo started his career with his local team, Tappara, in the SM-liiga. Drafted in the second round (twenty-ninth overall) in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft by the Winnipeg Jets, he moved to North America in 1988 to play for the Jets.
Teppo moved with the team as it became the Phoenix Coyotes before the 1996–97 season. He played in the NHL All-Star Game in 1999, 2000 and 2001.
After fifteen seasons playing for the Winnipeg/Phoenix organization, he was traded to the Dallas Stars in July 2003, for Mike Sillinger. He took a break from hockey during the 2004-05 NHL lockout & then signed as a free agent with the Buffalo Sabres.
On November 13, 2006, he played his 1252nd game in the NHL, thus setting a record for most NHL games played as a European-trained player, surpassing Jari Kurri.
After signing a one-year contract for the 2007–08 NHL season, Teppo was forced to undergo open heart surgery before the start of the season. He was suspended by the Buffalo Sabres when it was discovered he needed heart surgery.
Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier stated the suspension was because his $2.6 million contract was not insured and the contract contains a clause that states the player must pass the physical and be fit to play
Word came that Teppo's heart surgery was successful. Completed on September 20, 2007, at the Cleveland Clinic, the surgery was performed to repair a faulty valve. He was able to return to action for the final game of the Sabres' 2007–08 season on April 5, 2008.
Per a statement by GM Regier, Teppo expressed some interest in returning to NHL play for at least another year.
On August 8, 2008, he re-signed with the Buffalo Sabres where he was the leader among active NHL players who played the most games without winning the Stanley Cup: 1,372 at the end of the 2008-09 season.
On August 9, 2009, Teppo announced his retirement on August 4, 2009. He finished his NHL career with 117 goals and 520 assists for 637 points in 1372 NHL games.
At the time of his retirement, he was the last player from the 1986 NHL Entry Draft still playing in the NHL and had extended his record to 1372 NHL games, the most by a European-born and trained player at any position, which stood until broken by Nicklas Lidstrom in the 2009-10 season.
On January 30, 2010, the Phoenix Coyotes retired Teppo's number 27. During his 15 seasons for the franchise (including their previous incarnation as the Winnipeg Jets) he played 1,098 games, a then franchise record. His 534 points are also a franchise record for defencemen.
Teppo won two silver medals ('88 & '06) and a bronze ('98) playing with the Finnish Olympic Team.