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Sabres GM confirms obvious, calls Leino buyout a ‘very good possibility’

Apr 15, 2014, 2:39 PM EDT

Ville Leino Getty Images

Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray all but rubber-stamped the inevitable on Tuesday, saying the compliance buyout of beleaguered forward Ville Leino was a “very good possibility.”

Leino, 30, just wrapped the third of a six-year, $27 million deal that’s widely regarded as one of the NHL’s most onerous contracts. Signed largely after shooting to prominence during 2010 postseason with the Flyers — when he found magic on a line with Scott Hartnell and Daniel Briere, scoring 21 points in 19 games — Leino has been a colossal disappointment in Buffalo, scoring just 46 points in 137 games while missing 75 to a variety of injuries, healthy scratches and a suspension.

This year, Leino gained infamy by failing to score a single goal in 58 games, and only put 38 shots on goal.

Buffalo has yet to use either of its compliance buyouts — where the salary-cap charge is completely wiped clean, but the team must pay two-thirds of the remaining contract across twice the remaining term of the deal — opting to use a regular buyout, not a compliance, on Nathan Gerbe this past summer.

Should the Sabres buy out Leino, they’d be relieved of his $4.5 million cap hit over the next three seasons, but would be paying Leino $1.22 million per season until 2020.

This year’s compliance buyout window begins 48 hours after the conclusion of the ’14 Stanley Cup Finals.


  1. flyboystransport - Apr 15, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    Decent player but way over paid

    • storminator16 - Apr 15, 2014 at 3:12 PM

      Over-rated, over paid player. Not his fault he was over-rated, not his fault he is over paid. There may be a decent player still there but he may need to take the cap minimum to find himself.

      • flyboystransport - Apr 15, 2014 at 4:40 PM

        Who over rated him other than the sabres management/media/fans? He had a good year and a halfon the flyers and got a big contract for it. He was a bust but for the last 2 years on buffalo who hasn’t been?

      • zetaone - Apr 15, 2014 at 5:25 PM

        Tyler Ennis, Cody Hodgson, Zemgus Girgensons, Rasmus Ristolainen, Mike Weber, and Ehrhoff has improved.

      • billsin20xx - Apr 15, 2014 at 7:54 PM

        He was over rated by REGIER, one of the reasons he’s gone!

  2. rbbbaron - Apr 15, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    This time they managed to keep him healthy enough for the cutting board

  3. jason9696 - Apr 15, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    I could be wrong. But didn’t he get that very nice contract because of the way he played for the Flyers in the playoffs a few years ago? The year they lost to Chicago in 6 games in the Stanley Cup Finals.

    • narfmoo12 - Apr 15, 2014 at 4:56 PM

      That was 09-10 … He had 53 points the following year with the Flyers and then signed with Buffalo

  4. isphet71 - Apr 15, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    What a disaster this season was for Leino. As a Wings fan, he really looked like he could be a decent if not spectacular player when he first got in to the league. Not sure what happened since he left the Wings; he has underperformed to even the most mediocre of expectations of him after his stay in Philly.

    Gotta be hard to be a Sabres fan where you spend money and even overpay a bit on a guy like a Leino then inexplicably watch them not earn a penny of it. How frustrating.

  5. hockey412 - Apr 15, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    If you hear them say “Mr. Scott will escort you to your car this evening”…run, Ville.

    • prd797 - Apr 15, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      Why would he run? Buffalo will still be signing and sending cheques to his address until 2020 when they buy him out. He can turn around and sign somewhere next season to get even more $$$.

  6. djshnooks - Apr 15, 2014 at 5:44 PM

    Buffalo has plenty of young talent.

    Ville Leino shouldn’t be anywhere near those kids…he is a bum, he doesn’t work hard, he blames everyone but himself, he is selfish, he can’t score or pass or hit…he doesn’t belong on NHL ice, period.

    He is honestly THAT terrible…I’ll laugh at whomever signs him, if anyone does.

    Good riddance, Ville Lame-O!

    • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 15, 2014 at 8:39 PM

      Honestly it seemed that as soon as he got paid he just completely stopped trying, which is a huge shame bc I remember him making some huge plays here and playing with a ton of heart. He’s still somewhat of a cult hero in Philly as he was just so clutch in his short stay. The line of Leino-Briere-Hartnell almost won us the Cup.

      If he’s willing to sign a two-way, minimum deal I would definitely take him back; let him replace Downie and battle Laughton for the 3rd line wing job. If he fails let him toil in the minors then head back to Europe.

  7. canucks30 - Apr 15, 2014 at 6:27 PM

    A bigger BUST than Kate Upton

    • cliffatola - Apr 17, 2014 at 1:16 AM

      but not nearly as nice

  8. lukasksg - Apr 16, 2014 at 12:09 AM

    While our fans may not miss Leino, but Chippawa bar owners sure will.

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