The start of a new season and it appears to be the same old for the Buffalo Sabres and Ville Leino. Just when Leino is poised for a big season in which he will finally earn his massive paycheque he get’s hurt and sits on the shelf. On Thursday head coach Ron Rolston announced that Ville Leino had cracked a rib in Wednesday’s opener against Detroit and will be out indefinitely.
Aside from the fact we lose his offence, the worst thing about Leino being injured is no one ever knows how long it will take for him to “fully” recover. His injuries seem to heal a lot slower than normal, can’t wait to see how long he’s out for now.
Acquiring Ville Leino was as simple as the old mantra; “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”. When the Sabres faced the Flyers in the 2010 playoffs, Leino was a major contributor for the Flyers and scored the OT winning goal to tie the series at 3. You know the rest, the Sabres lost in-game 7 and haven’t been back to the playoffs since. Darcy Regier thought that since Leino was so good against the Sabres in the postseason he would most definitely be a great addition for the Sabres and help them in the playoffs, but he’s been nothing but trouble since signing.
In the last two season’s since signing with the Sabres Leino has played less than 80 games in blue and gold- and no not because of the shortened season. Leino signed a 6 year deal worth $27 million but has spent the majority of the first two season’s battling injuries and many are calling for him to be bought out. Once he’s healthy again by the end of the season he is the perfect buyout candidate.
Most notably Leino spent the majority of last season on the IR and was limited to just 8 games, on the positive he did record 6 points in those 8 games but the Sabres could have used that production all year. The injury does open up a spot for Johan Larsson to draw into the lineup as he will fill in the centre roll on the a line with Tyler Ennis and Steve Ott while Leino is sidelined. If Larsson plays well enough maybe he can force the Sabres hand at a buyout, it’s time to get rid of the injury prone forward.
It’s safe to say that since Leino signed his massive contract as a free agent he hasn’t lived up to expectations and he just can’t seem to stay healthy as he appears to be made of glass or straw. It’s become the Sabres worst nightmare, a Tim Connolly 2.0. Ville Leino seems to be the perfect example of why you don’t sign a play after just one good season, anyone can get lucky right?
Today’s poll question; Has Ville Leino become a bust for the Buffalo Sabres?