Monday was the first day that NHL teams could begin using their compliance buyouts on players that they no longer wished to have as a part of the organization. On Tuesday, one team has decided to use its compliance buyout on the biggest free agent bust in franchise history.
The Buffalo Sabres have announced that forward Ville Leino has been placed on unconditional waivers with the purpose of a buyout. The team will now have to wait 24 hours to officially buy out Leino as part of the NHL’s waiver process, which allows teams to claim him.
Should no one claim Leino, as expected, the Sabres will hand him a fat $7 million check to take his talents elsewhere.
The Sabres signed Leino to a 6-year, $27-million contract in 2011 after the Finnish forward had the best stretch of hockey in his career over the prior year and a half. However, what he and the Sabres got since his arrival was nothing short of disappointment.
In three seasons in Buffalo, Leino has 10 goals and 36 assists for a combined 46 points. In his best, and last, season in Philadelphia, Leino recorded 19 goals and 34 assists for 53 points, proving to be simple a one-year wonder that earned him a grossly overpaid contract.
Once bought out, Leino will be free to sign with any team other than the Sabres. If for some reason both player and team were to want to reunite, a year would have to pass before it would be allowed.