Teams are allowed to begin negotiations with free agents and pending free agents, but signings cannot be official until the NHLPA ratifies the new CBA and they and the NHL signs the Memorandum of Understanding, which is expected to take place on Saturday. The NHL Board of Governors ratified the deal on Wednesday.
Hecht had been playing for Mannheim of the German Elite League during the lockout, but the club announced on its website today that he has agreed to a one-year contract with the Sabres.
The 35-year-old will leave for Buffalo on Saturday and is expected to be with the club when it opens training camp on Sunday.
In 768 career NHL games with the Sabres, Edmonton Oilers and St. Louis Blues, Hecht has accumulated 181 goals and 268 assists for 449 points.