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Lonewuhf

Buffalo signs Ville Leino to 6-year, 27m contract

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Apparently the plan is to have Leino as the #1 Centre playing with Vanek and Stafford, Sabres expect him to be a 70 pt guy.

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Apparently the plan is to have Leino as the #1 Centre playing with Vanek and Stafford, Sabres expect him to be a 70 pt guy.

I like Leino a lot, but To expect 70 PTA is a bit ridiculous. The kid has hands though, hope he surprises me...

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So... they save $250k from Tim Connolly. Who has been scoring consistently at a near-PPG level in Buffalo for years. And is reliable defensively. In five full seasons played since the lockout, Connolly has averaged 60 games played, 14 goals, 36 assists, and 50 points. Sure, he's had some injury issues. But even with that, he's been as productive per-season over those five seasons as Leino's one good season. Makes you wonder why they would get rid of a proven first-line NHL center in Connolly to pick up Leino, who has had one good season on the wing of a top-end center, and try and cram him into the center role which he hasn't played since juniors.

And for the record, Ehrhoff's contract is great unless the cap shrinks considerably; they get a high-end defenseman on the cheap, and can deal him later to a needy team if they have to.

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Makes you wonder why they would get rid of a proven first-line NHL center in Connolly to pick up Leino, who has had one good season on the wing of a top-end center, and try and cram him into the center role which he hasn't played since juniors.

This is the key here. They're taking a risk and paying for potential, but it could end up being a great deal. Leino is now for the first time really given a real big offensive role and not that big of a threat for getting benched if it doesn't work out immediately. He's only been in the league for one full season, so there are still things left to see. He's a 27-year-old late bloomer and is probably still improving at least slightly.

The last time Leino played center was in 06-07. He's a natural centerman. Of course there are question marks, but I see his style of play fitting better for the center role.

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Mr. Pegula wasn't kidding when he said he was going to spend money on this team. I hope Toronto has a back-up plan for when (not if) Connolly gets hurt.

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This is the key here. They're taking a risk and paying for potential, but it could end up being a great deal. Leino is now for the first time really given a real big offensive role and not that big of a threat for getting benched if it doesn't work out immediately. He's only been in the league for one full season, so there are still things left to see. He's a 27-year-old late bloomer and is probably still improving at least slightly.

The last time Leino played center was in 06-07. He's a natural centerman. Of course there are question marks, but I see his style of play fitting better for the center role.

Hudler's a natural center too. Let's put him between Franzen and Cleary or Bertuzzi and see how it works.

As for the "paying for potential" part...

Tim Connolly is only three years older. Connolly is a proven commodity. Will Leino be providing 5 points for every 6 games over the first three years of his contract, and also be a reliable defensive center? I somehow don't see that happening; mainly due to Leino's defensive failings. So Leino will need to score more. But if they figure him to be around 70 points... that's 5 points every 6 games, which is what Connolly scored. Granted, Connolly had his health issues and was only playing 60 games (50 points) so that means Leino is expected to stay healthy, which he hasn't had any trouble doing so far. So, it's a matter of Leino staying healthy and scoring enough points above 50 per season to offset the difference between him and Connolly; liability vs reliability. How many points is that worth in a season. 10? 20? 30? That's how you can tell whether Buffalo improved at center. I would say they didn't.

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They may now looking for another #1 centre instead.

Wow.

Which other teams out there don't have a quality #1 center? Toronto comes to mind unless they made a huge acquisition that slipped by me, which is fairly likely.

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Wow.

Which other teams out there don't have a quality #1 center? Toronto comes to mind unless they made a huge acquisition that slipped by me, which is fairly likely.

Tim Connolly.

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Hudler's a natural center too. Let's put him between Franzen and Cleary or Bertuzzi and see how it works.

As for the "paying for potential" part...

Tim Connolly is only three years older. Connolly is a proven commodity. Will Leino be providing 5 points for every 6 games over the first three years of his contract, and also be a reliable defensive center? I somehow don't see that happening; mainly due to Leino's defensive failings. So Leino will need to score more. But if they figure him to be around 70 points... that's 5 points every 6 games, which is what Connolly scored. Granted, Connolly had his health issues and was only playing 60 games (50 points) so that means Leino is expected to stay healthy, which he hasn't had any trouble doing so far. So, it's a matter of Leino staying healthy and scoring enough points above 50 per season to offset the difference between him and Connolly; liability vs reliability. How many points is that worth in a season. 10? 20? 30? That's how you can tell whether Buffalo improved at center. I would say they didn't.

you're silly.

I'm thoroughly convinced that even you don't believe a lot of what you say about Hudler and just type it for a laugh... and this is coming from someone who has been a Hudler supporter and thought he always took too much heat on this board...

I feel like we should have a sound cut like a 1980's sitcom, where every time eva talks about Hudler, everyone else, in unison, goes "Oh eva!" and then he just shrugs his shoulders and the laugh track is signaled...

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I feel like we should have a sound cut like a 1980's sitcom, where every time eva talks about Hudler, everyone else, in unison, goes "Oh eva!" and then he just shrugs his shoulders and the laugh track is signaled...

I would prefer going with "whatcho talkin' 'bout eva?" personally.

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I would prefer going with "whatcho talkin' 'bout eva?" personally.

LGW photoshoppers... I think you've been queued...

I'm not sure exactly what it would entail, but I'm imagining something with Gary Coleman's face on Hudler's body with one of eva's many comments captioned and, of course a word bubble coming out of Coleman's face, with said catch phrase...

and... commence!

Edited by stevkrause

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you're silly.

I'm thoroughly convinced that even you don't believe a lot of what you say about Hudler and just type it for a laugh... and this is coming from someone who has been a Hudler supporter and thought he always took too much heat on this board...

I feel like we should have a sound cut like a 1980's sitcom, where every time eva talks about Hudler, everyone else, in unison, goes "Oh eva!" and then he just shrugs his shoulders and the laugh track is signaled...

Silly about what, the Franzen-Hudler-Bertuzzi/Cleary thing? I'm serious there. I think it would work well. The "big wingers/small center" setup has worked many times to great success throughout history. Putting a skilled, small guy like Hudler with two big scorers isn't as crazy as you think. It wouldn't be my first choice given our current roster and the fact it would either: be the third line and force the move of Eaves, Mursak, or Miller (maybe even Tatar) onto the top two lines; or put Hudler in the second line slot with Flip on the third. One more big winger, a guy with a bit of speed, scoring skill, and grit, would fit perfectly on the wing instead.

But this is a thread about how Leino will thoroughly disappoint the Sabres brass. So let's stay on topic.

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Tim Connolly.

Tim Connolly is barely a 2nd liner. Sabres fans couldn't wait to get rid of him. He's hurt constantly and makes loads of dumb passes. He's a good positional player, good on the PK, but doesn't backcheck or put in much effort. I would say that at the message board for the Sabres I frequent, they were about 75/25 against him signing his last contract with the Sabres and have been counting the days for him to leave.

Off the ice he's got issues too. Ducks the media constantly... he won't take responsibility like many players do to the media. And there are quite a few interesting stories about his hi-jinx on Chippewa St. in Buffalo that I won't recount since they are just rumors.

I'm not defending the Leino contract though... I think he's about $1.5 - $2M overpaid and don't think he'll produce at a 2nd line center level.

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Apparently the plan is to have Leino as the #1 Centre playing with Vanek and Stafford, Sabres expect him to be a 70 pt guy.

Really? 70 points? Who knows? Maybe he'll have good chemistry with his new linemates. But expecting 70 points out of a guy that topped out at 53 and only scored 19 goals... I know its the NY way of thinking with all their sports teams, but paying a player more money doesn't make them better players.

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Hudler's a natural center too. Let's put him between Franzen and Cleary or Bertuzzi and see how it works.

I'm totally OK with that.
As for the "paying for potential" part...

Tim Connolly is only three years older. Connolly is a proven commodity

Again as I said, "proven" isn't always the better option. Connolly has already proven what he can do and what kinda player he is. Leino is one of the better examples of these so called "late bloomers" in the recent years.Leino being younger is of course positive as well, but the potential lies more in the fact that he's only played one full NHL season.

I'm not looking at statistics here, eva. I know you like to play with them in every case. I've been pretty correct about Leino from the beginning. Of course I hope success to him, but I also firmly believe that he still has potential. I don't have too much statistic data to back it up, but it just a gut feeling.

To me this is the first time his given a clear and big offensive role at this level. I just smell +60 points next season. I also know by watching him play a LOT in the last nine years that he has developed a lot defensively also, particulary last year.

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i wonder if he'll make it for more than 2 years on this team..

Why wouldn't he? What do you think is the reason for him not to be with Flyers anymore?

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I just picked this guy up as a free agent in my fantasy league. Hopefully he keeps up the pace of 82 goals!

I think he will have a few strong years on Buffalo, that team is the real deal, and Leino is almost guaranteed the #2 centre spot. Dont really have to worry about his defensive lapses with Regehr, Myers, Erhoff, and Miller behind him!

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I just picked this guy up as a free agent in my fantasy league. Hopefully he keeps up the pace of 82 goals!

I think he will have a few strong years on Buffalo, that team is the real deal, and Leino is almost guaranteed the #2 centre spot. Dont really have to worry about his defensive lapses with Regehr, Myers, Erhoff, and Miller behind him!

I agree with this,he'll do well there. Leino is a great talent and would do well almost anywhere at this point, his confidence is must be real high since leaving here. For whatever reason the stars were not in alignment for Ville here but I am glad to see him having solid career going.

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Huh?

I assume he's referring to the lack of production. 1G, 1A, 8 GP.

I haven't heard anything about him being a disruption or locker-room problem.

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