after either 3 seasons with the wings or a cup win with the wings a finn is allowed to file for swedish citizenship. filppula is already part of the swedish hockey community in detroit.
so two more seasons in detroit and leino will no longer suck.
He used to play as a 3rd/4th line defensive checking role when he was in Finland right? That is, before he finally got a spot on a scoring line and had that breakout season.
Well... not really. In his first full season in SM-liiga (03-04) he was our 2nd line center and did ok (54gp 9+15=24). In his second season he was expected more and completely failed to deliver (56gp 8+11=19). He was Jesse Niinimäki v2.0 i.e. a lazy bum who was throwing away his talent. Most Ilves fans thought he was never going to become a decent SM-liiga player, let alone NHL player. I don't know if it was the change of scenery, or coaching staff, or his own attitude or what, but next season he was a different player.
Anyway it seems he's grown up a lot and really developed as a hockey player. Hard to think he's the same guy that was surfing in our jersey five years ago.
Its quite refreshing to see some Swede that isn't the usual goody two-shoes variety.
To stay on topic, I wouldn't say that Leino is a headcase, but IMO he has a long way to prove that he can keep his cool and stay disciplined in a system such as Detroit. I'll be damned happy if he proves my prejudices wrong and stays in a good form for a full season in the NHL.