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Lack of offense weighs on Leino, but ‘there’s a lot of other guys on the team, too’

Mar 25, 2014, 2:09 PM EDT

Ville Leino Getty Images

A healthy scratch the past two games, Sabres forward Ville Leino will be back in the lineup tonight in Montreal, and boy does he…not sound all that excited about it.

Per the Buffalo News (which has the audio), Leino was asked about the fact he has no goals and and just 12 assists in 50 games, and whether that lack of offense was weighing on him.

“I’m sure it weighs on me, too, but obviously there’s a lot of other guys on the team, too, that hasn’t been able to really help that much either,” he said.

Which is absolutely true, though even relative to most of the other struggling Buffalo players, Leino has had a poor season.

“There’s so much going on in here in the organization with how this team’s been lately,” he said, before acknowledging he “can’t really do anything about” the talk his days with the club are numbered.

The Sabres still have both their compliance buyouts left. One will surely be used on Leino, who’s signed through 2016-17 with a cap hit of $4.5 million. Drew Stafford is another potential candidate, though he’s been playing a bit better of late.

  1. spezzdispenser - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    Terrible signing… Sabres fans you have permission to tweet his wife

    • elemeno89 - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:40 PM

      This guy is a locker room cancer, especially for a team in a rebuild. He knows what’s coming and still refuses to change his game. With these comments I think it would be safe to say that his career in the NHL will be forgettable. Ending with no goals in a season, on a 30th place team, after being bought out. Call me bitter, but I say that’s a perfect way for it to end given his attitude…

    • billsin20xx - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:43 PM

      And stupid idea to play him at all anymore, supposedly the reason they didn’t buy him out last summer was he was hurt and you can’t buy out injured players. I’d keep him safely out of the lineup till they cut him!

  2. vanindeed - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    One of the worst teams I’ve seen in years

  3. bensawesomeness - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    Guy had a ton of promise in Detroit his rookie year – sad to see him fall this far

    • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 25, 2014 at 7:28 PM

      The guy was very good in Philly too. He and his line almost carried the Flyers to a Cup. It amazes me to see just how terrible he’s been in Buffalo. Guess he should’ve taken the lesser offer and stayed on with the team where he already had chemistry.

  4. ibieiniid - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    “Per the Buffalo News (which has the audio), Leino was asked about the fact he has no goals and and just 12 assists in 50 games, and whether that lack of offense was weighing on him.”

    that line and his answer kinda make it seem like he’s blaming his team for his own play, but if you go listen to the audio in that article, I think Ville thought the reporter was actually asking about the team. i was gonna stack this one in my bank of reasons i don’t like Leino, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt here.

    • buddysguys - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      i dont we have seen this before from him when asked about his lousy play he deflects it to other players and coaches.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:33 PM

        are you 100% sure that wasn’t the same kind of situation?

      • ibieiniid - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:34 PM

        don’t get me wrong, i know he has his character issues (hell, i ripped on him on here just yesterday), but I don’t think he meant this one as negatively as it sounds.

      • buddysguys - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:38 PM

        i hear ya but when you have 0 goals and 12 points in 50 games two things shouldnt be happening

        1. you shouldnt ever use “there are other guys on the team too”
        2. you shouldnt be interviewed until you score your first goal

  5. buddysguys - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    So he blames the rest of the team? Unreal this guy is…i seriously dont know how the reporters don’t just slap him after he speaks. Real team first kind of guy.

  6. Val Borschevsky - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    The agent is a stud for getting him that contract. With his skill set and past production, max 3 mill Leino’s nhl career is dwindling

  7. bradkaz96 - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    Oh Silly Blameo, stop crying, tighten up the laces on your skate, shut your mouth and play until the Sabres buy you out then go overseas.

  8. rabidbillsfan - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    Guys confidence is wrecked. And by deflecting blame to others, well, goodbye. I have no idea how many scoring chances Leino had before he was parked in the press box, I’d say at least 7-10 in his last 15 games or so, he just never pulled the trigger. Either tried to finesse something, or dump it off to a teammate. Knock Scott all you want, but he brings more to the table for this Sabres team than Leino does. The top pair of Ennis and Stafford has been on a tear lately, if somebody could have just stepped in and consistently helped CoHo on the second line, this team would at least be entertaining to watch *cough* Leino. Stafford is safe, as far as buyouts go. A.) When his game is on, he is a top-6 forward in the NHL and can kill penalties. When he’s off, at worst he’s a bottom six guy who can still kill penalties. He also sticks up for the guys on the ice too. B.) The Sabres need to hit the cap floor, unless they plan on paying Ennis 10mil this off season, they need to keep either Stafford or Leino, or you will be overpaying guys in FA, and we will be down the Leino road again. I’d almost go as far as saying Leino is a cancer to the team. Not from a personal standpoint, but from a On-ice standpoint. Almost any line you point him on is going to be dragging his weight around, it puts a huge burden on the young guys who really have shown potential. I feel bad for Foligno, as most nights he draws in on the Leino line. The kid can play, I like his game, but he’s not far enough along in his development to carry somebody else baggage on the ice. I am now stepping off of my soap box.

    • ibieiniid - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:14 PM

      to be fair, when the interviewer asks simply about the “lack of production, like goals,” he could be talking about 0-goal Leino, or the 138-goal Sabres. I kinda think he thought the latter.

      • rabidbillsfan - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:28 PM

        It doesn’t matter what he thought it was, as a Veteran player this was the perfect time for him to step up, grab the reins and say “I could be better. This season has been a struggle, but as a veteran on the team I should be leading by example. I will continue to work hard and the rest will take care of itself.” You cover both ends of the spectrum with that, he would be acknowledging he could be better, and at the same time saying “without saying” the team could be better. He clearly chose to pick his ego over his team in this interview. And whats funny about your comment is that you mention the Goal-less Leino or the 138 Sabres team, not one of those 138 goals have come off of a Leino stick, so, again, spin it how you want, but the guy threw his team under the bus.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:44 PM

        i disagree. i think his interpretation of the question matters, when you’re judging him based on the answer.

        but what the f*** do i know?

  9. benp72 - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    Nathan Gerbe makes league minimum and has almost 3 times the points of this $27 million dollar clown. Have fun in Finland next year Lieno

    • bigolbig - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:16 PM

      and it’s ironic that Gerbe was bought out by the Sabres

  10. mega1480 - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    In a sick way I think they can’t afford to cut him. The sabres need all the payroll they can get to reach the floor after dumping most of their highest paid players. Add that with the excellent 2015 draft which they want to pick 1st in and I can see him staying as awful as that sounds

  11. bagjr387 - Mar 25, 2014 at 7:34 PM

    Anyone paying attention to the salary cap? The sabres might HAVE to keep him

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