I'm totally OK with that.
Hudler's a natural center too. Let's put him between Franzen and Cleary or Bertuzzi and see how it works.
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.
As for the "paying for potential" part...
Tim Connolly is only three years older. Connolly is a proven commodity
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.