It has been no secret that the Buffalo Sabres were looking to move Ville Leino before the start of next season. Whether it was by trade, or by the use of the one of the compliance buyout options. Leino’s days were already numbered within the organization, and now he has just be let out of the door.
A day after the compliance buyout period began, the Buffalo Sabres announced today that they have decided to go that route, placing him on unconditional waivers, and now they play the waiting game.
The 30-year old Finnish winger played three of his six seasons in his massive contract, following a career year with the Philadelphia Flyers, scoring 19 goals and 53 points, with a spectacular post-season play in tow. Driving former GM Darcy Regier to lock him to a massive contract after seeing what he could do, in a series of games that Buffalo struggled to remain in or even get into. So instead, “if you can’t beat him, sign him.”
Since joining the Sabres that very offseason he sent the team for an early tee-time, Leino didn’t play the way with Regier or former head coach Lindy Ruff had anticipated. In his first go-round, Leino scored eight goals with 17 assists during 71 games of the 2011-2012 season. His woes would continue through two more seasons, playing in only eight games of the already shortened 2012-2013 season (all of which were played inside the new year), scoring two goals and six points, and of course follwoing a horrendous past season playing in 58 games, notching no goals with 15 assists.
Following Ted Nolan‘s benching towards the end, the rumors began to swirl about potential trades, buyouts or something other than what was happening right now.
Now faced with cleaning up after the former GM, Tim Murray is doing what everyone expects and pretty much desires at this point.
When it comes to official costs and payments, Leino has burned through three years and approximately $15 million dollars of the contract. Per buyout rules, the Sabres are required to pay two-thirds of the remaining contract for double what the remaining years are. With that being said, Buffalo will pay around $7.333 million dollars to Leino over the next six years. Hardly breaking any sort of cap space, even though half of Buffalo might wish that we pay him per goal this season, but that wouldn’t be fair, sadly. Should a team pick him off of waivers, then the Buffalo Sabres will escape easily with the team having to now foot the remaining $5 million, but that’s unlikely to happen.
For now, Buffalo will wait until noon tomorrow for the actual buyout to happen, given that a team doesn’t pick him up in the meantime.
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