Ville Leino, the disappointing 30-year-old forward on the Buffalo Sabres, has been criticized for everything he hasn’t done in his
three-year tenure in Buffalo. After signing a 6-year $27-million contract before the 2011-12 season, big things were expected of the man who tied the record for the most points scored in an NHL playoffs by a rookie in the 2010 playoffs. However, the Finnish scorer flunked in three seasons in The Queen City; putting up just 46 points in 137 games. He hit rock bottom this year by scoring no goals in 58 games.
GM Tim Murray, however, said on Tuesday that buying out Leino is a “very good possibility”, which is what many people are expecting the team will do to relieve cap space and help rebuild the roster with younger talent. The Sabres will likely use one of their two available compliance buyouts (no salary cap charge) that each team has, instead of using a regular buyout. They used a regular buyout on Nathan Gerbe last summer and still have to pay two-thirds of his salary. However, Leino’s larger contract will tempt the Sabres brass to use the compliance buyout on him.
Many people believe that the Sabres will want to not use any money saved on a Leino buyout will be used on free agent signings in this offseason. A stacked 2015 draft may persuade the Sabres to save the money for next year’s free agency.