If we have learned anything from new Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray in his short time on the job, it's that he's not afraid to be candid. It's a pretty rare trait for people in hockey operations.
So when Murray and Sabres coach Ted Nolan had their season-ending media interview and was asked about the biggest disappointment on the team Ville Leino and the potential of a buyout, he didn't shy away from a strong answer.
Sabres GM Tim Murray on Ville Leino buyout: "Very good possibility."— John Vogl (@BuffNewsVogl) April 15, 2014
Welp, that's that then. He did say it's not a done decision but yeah, sure sounds like it will be son enough.
Leino signed a six-year, $27 million deal with the Sabres in free agency before the 2011-12 season. There's no skirting around it, he's been a massive disapointment. His $4.5 million cap hit on this deal makes him the highest-paid forward on the team and he just finished a season where he played 58 games without a goal. He had one game-winner in a shootout and 15 assists but that was it.
That brought his 137-game toals in Buffalo to 10 goals and 36 assists. His final season in Philadelphia before signing with Buffalo, Leino had 19 goals and 34 assists in what was a complete anomaly in his career. So yes, he's been a big letdown, even if it wasn't that difficult to see coming.
The Sabres have both of their amnesty buyouts left from the new CBA that either get used this summer or don't get used at all. They bought out Nathan Gerbe last summer but did it the traditional way.