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01-13-2013, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by punkr0x View Post
Leino is 29 years old and he's had one good year in the NHL. I think it's much more likely that 2010-11 was the exception and what we saw last year was Ville Leino returning to his old form.
Bingo - I totally agree. And Bill Hoppe's article sums it up:

Ruff mentioned last week Leino could play center again. Right now, he’s not one of the Sabres’ top six forwards.

It’s easy to forget because he’s 29 years old and a proven playoff performer, but Leino’s played only two full NHL seasons. He enjoyed his 21-point 2010 postseason after playing sparingly during the regular season. He’s still a bit green.
Clearly, he’s a complimentary player – think about 18 goals and 45 points at his best – not a top center. The Sabres know that now. Leino’s had more than a year to figure out Ruff likes players who go to the net and shoot, not east-west puck carriers.

If Leino doesn’t improve and fit his talents to Ruff’s system, he could get bought out following the season.

What I'm curious to see is if Regier's reputation for not acknowledging mistakes of judgement cancels out the new CBA amnesty provision to buy Leino - or others - out. Pegula gushed over Leino when the signing happened so he too may not be willing to pull the plug on the experiment this summer, even if Leino has another poor campaign.

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