Okay, Sabre Noise readers!
I just finished my little pep talk with Ville Leino, and I have to say, he’s in good spirits despite having the goal he scored Saturday waved off due to the net being dislodged just seconds before the puck crossed the red line.
If I were him, I’d be feeling a bit snake-bit by now – even the nets in the NHL hate him, apparently – but he’s soldiering on and getting ready for this week’s slate of games as if he is actually earning his $4,500,000 salary this season.
Which, of course, he is not. But I don’t tell him that to his face.
It always comes down to that salary, doesn’t it? If Ville was paid what he truly was worth, he would be just another so-so player on a really, really so-so team. I mean, it’s not like he is the lowest points-scorer on the team; sure, he only has five points in 20 games, but that projects to nearly 8 if he had played in 30, which would put him right up there with Tyler Myers and Marcus Foligno, and ahead of Steve Ott. Spectacular? No. But not the worst on the team.
So it all comes down to that damn contract that Leino signed. What was the caption on the picture Travis, our social media manager here at Sabre Noise, put up on Facebook the other day? Oh yeah: “I make $27 million, but I don’t fully realize my job description.” Har har. Like it’s Leino’s fault Darcy Regier severely over-valued his play as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers. I bet all of you out there would accept a pay raise you knew you weren’t worth if your boss was dumb enough to offer it to you, too.
It is what it is – Ville understands he is going to be the target of a lot of fan dissension because of the dollar amount hovering over his head, but he seems to be pretty even-keeled about it. He seems pretty confident that he’s going to pot one this week, and once the first one goes in, he expects to see a dam-breaking effect, which would be nice for a team that scores less times during a game than I go to the bathroom. Hang in there, Ville!