Which Buffalo Sabres Player Has The Most To Prove Next Season?

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Ville Leino, F

Mar 21, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Ville Leino (23) brings the puck into the Toronto Maple Leafs zone during the second period at the First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Unlike Myers, who won the Calder and thereby set the bar high for himself, Ville Leino does not have as big a hill to climb in order to have what many would consider a successful comeback season.  His best season came back in 2010-2011, when he put up 19-34-53 with the Philadelphia Flyers.  Sure, those are good, second-line worthy numbers – but Leino is the fourth-highest paid player on the Sabres next season, behind Thomas Vanek, Ryan Miller, and Tyler Myers.   Still – it’s not Leino’s fault the Sabres lost their mind and overpaid him.

When healthy, Leino could be a nice boost to the Sabres’ second line, and if he can put up 50+ points next year, I think the fans will stop calling for the Sabres to buyout his contract.  Staying healthy, then, is the key to Leino’s being shown some love by the fans in First Niagara Center next year.

Worst Case Scenario: Leino gets plowed over by the injury bus again, and sees his contract bought-out in the offseason

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