Truth & Rumors > NHL

The NHL's biggest bust in years

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08:22 AM ET 01.19 | Ville Leino fancy behind-the-back shinny pass -- one that wound up being picked off and in the back of the Sabres net seconds later -- can't sit well with frustrated Sabres fans. Let's cut right to the chase. Terry Pegula's billions have made [Leino] the biggest bust of the season in NHL free agency. Maybe the biggest bust in many seasons. Leino has just three goals in the first season of his six-year, $27 million contract that gets more suspect by the day. Leino has only one goal in his last 20 games -- and has a minus-10 rating for the season. ... Leino is a winger but has basically done nothing. A national TV audience saw what everyone in Western New York has been seeing since October.

The Buffalo News

Ville Leino, Icon Sports Ville Leino, Icon Sports
January 19, 2012  08:35 AM ET

I wouldn't say he was a bust I would just say Buffalo severly overpaid.

January 19, 2012  09:39 AM ET

If you look at it this year is right in line with just about every other season of his career except for last year in Philly.

January 19, 2012  09:43 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

If you look at it this year is right in line with just about every other season of his career except for last year in Philly.

Right he's not a bust they just spent too much

January 19, 2012  09:48 AM ET

The NHL's biggest bust in years


...and here I thought it was Melanie Collins.

January 19, 2012  09:51 AM ET

Reason #847 why I'm not a GM. I thought for sure, after how Buffalo played last year and all the young talent they had, that Leino would easily be a 20+ goal scorer this year. Of all the moves Holmgren made this past offseason, this one is looking like one of the best.

January 19, 2012  09:53 AM ET

Everybody is the best at something....

January 19, 2012  10:01 AM ET

Pugula is learning the hard way, you can't just throw money at something and expect results. You have to be careful, do it over time, and plot a course by which you improve over 2-3 yrs. Look at Burke in Toronto, done it by adding a couple of players each year, not bringing in high priced talent all at once and expecting results. The most important job as a GM, and to a certain extent as an owner if they are involved in player decisions, is to figure out who stirs the drink and who drinks the drink. Guys like Leino, Gomez, Gionta, etc are guys who benefited from playing with great players, they aren't necessarily great players themselves. Briere is the opposite, he's truly great b/c it doesn't matter who he plays with, he still performs and makes those around him better. The NHL is littered with GMs who have made these mistakes, and the good ones are the ones who can tell the difference.

Comment #8 has been removed
January 19, 2012  10:07 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

If you look at it this year is right in line with just about every other season of his career except for last year in Philly.

He had an incredible playoff in 2010 but it didn't hurt that his linemates were a Briere who was on fire that same playoff year, and Hartnell (like him or not, he had a great playoff himself).

Prior to that he was mainly a coach's decision scratch...not exactly the type of guy you throw cash at the way the Sabres did.

January 19, 2012  10:30 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

I wouldn't say he was a bust I would just say Buffalo severly overpaid.

Would have to agree...as for a bust...try Alex Daigle, Patrik Stepan, Dave Chyzowski, Neal Brady, Ray Martyniuk, Barry Dean...

January 19, 2012  10:32 AM ET

Really now, if he was any good at all do you think the Red Wings and Ken Holland would have dumped him 2 years ago??? Philly first and now Buffalo are learning what the Red Wings and Holland/Babcock figured out then, "he couldnt play on Detroits 4th line, why in the heck would anyone believe that he could play and be paid like a #1 line winger".... just shows again, that Holland and the Wings are the best at what they do...

January 19, 2012  10:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Really now, if he was any good at all do you think the Red Wings and Ken Holland would have dumped him 2 years ago??? Philly first and now Buffalo are learning what the Red Wings and Holland/Babcock figured out then, "he couldnt play on Detroits 4th line, why in the heck would anyone believe that he could play and be paid like a #1 line winger".... just shows again, that Holland and the Wings are the best at what they do...

Leino was fine in Philly playing with the right linemates.

January 19, 2012  10:52 AM ET

if we're going to throw Daigle into this you may as well toss in Dipietro for fun.

January 19, 2012  10:53 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Really now, if he was any good at all do you think the Red Wings and Ken Holland would have dumped him 2 years ago??? Philly first and now Buffalo are learning what the Red Wings and Holland/Babcock figured out then, "he couldnt play on Detroits 4th line, why in the heck would anyone believe that he could play and be paid like a #1 line winger".... just shows again, that Holland and the Wings are the best at what they do...

The Wings would have never let him go if they saw any talent. Buyer beware.

January 19, 2012  10:59 AM ET

That was the stupidest play I've seen in a while... and I have Coyotes season tickets.

January 19, 2012  10:59 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

if we're going to throw Daigle into this you may as well toss in Dipietro for fun.

Don't toss DP too hard, he will break... again... and again... and again.

January 19, 2012  11:05 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Pugula is learning the hard way, you can't just throw money at something and expect results. You have to be careful, do it over time, and plot a course by which you improve over 2-3 yrs. Look at Burke in Toronto, done it by adding a couple of players each year, not bringing in high priced talent all at once and expecting results. The most important job as a GM, and to a certain extent as an owner if they are involved in player decisions, is to figure out who stirs the drink and who drinks the drink. Guys like Leino, Gomez, Gionta, etc are guys who benefited from playing with great players, they aren't necessarily great players themselves. Briere is the opposite, he's truly great b/c it doesn't matter who he plays with, he still performs and makes those around him better. The NHL is littered with GMs who have made these mistakes, and the good ones are the ones who can tell the difference.

Burke??? You want to use the Leafs franchise as a model of what should be done?

January 19, 2012  11:09 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Burke??? You want to use the Leafs franchise as a model of what should be done?

Father forgive him. He knows not what he said. Where's the Pontiff when you need help!

January 19, 2012  11:09 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Burke??? You want to use the Leafs franchise as a model of what should be done?

Think I just threw up... Sorry.

 
January 19, 2012  11:16 AM ET

he totally got the jason werth deal of hockey. fit well with a team surrounded by much better players which improved his own numbers, but on there own they are just average again.

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