Buffalo Sabres: Will Ville Leino Turn It Around This Season?

November 6th, 2012 by Matt Clouden Leave a reply »

It's safe to say every Buffalo Sabres fan has their own opinion about the contract general manager Darcy Regier gave Ville Leino last offseason.

Whenever you see a six-year, $27 million deal in the NHL, it attracts a lot of attention. 

When it comes to dollars and cents (and maybe sense), Leino did not live up to his billing last season. There is no debate about that. Ask him and he'll probably tell you himself that he was not pleased with how his season went. 

His rollercoaster ride can be summed up pretty succinctly. He scored in the Sabres' first game, then scored a goal and had two assists in the next 21 games. After finding a groove and scoring five points in his next seven outings, he injured his ankle and missed the next 11 games. He was held scoreless in his first seven games back from injury, and then was steady from that point on.

There were many quasi-excuses made for Leino over the course of the season, with the main one being he was not comfortable making the transition to center and couldn't pick up coach Lindy Ruff's system as a result. 

We'll come back to that notion in a minute, but o ...

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