Ville Leino

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Ville Leino
Ville Leino 2015-09-12.jpg
Leino with Dinamo Riga in 2015
Born (1983-10-06) 6 October 1983 (age 34)
Savonlinna, Finland
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Left wing
Shot Left
Played for Ilves
HPK
Jokerit
Detroit Red Wings
Philadelphia Flyers
Buffalo Sabres
KHL Medveščak Zagreb
Kloten Flyers
Dinamo Riga
Växjö Lakers
National team  Finland
NHL Draft Undrafted
Playing career 2002–2017

Ville Leino (born 6 October 1983) is a Finnish former professional ice hockey forward. He has played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers and Buffalo Sabres.

Playing career[edit]

Finland[edit]

At age 17, Leino started playing for his hometown hockey team SaPKo in the Suomi-sarja. He was then recruited to the SM-liiga by Ilves, and later moved on to HPK, where he led the team in scoring in the 2005–06 season when HPK won their first SM-liiga championship.

In 2007, Leino was signed by Jokerit, where he was switched from centre to wing. In his first season with the team, he broke the club record for most points in the regular season when he surpassed Timo Sutinen's record of 73.[1] He went on to finish second in scoring, and won the Lasse Oksanen trophy for the best player during the regular season in the SM-liiga.[2]

North America[edit]

On 10 May 2008, Leino signed a one-year contract with the NHL's Detroit Red Wings.[3][4] Due to the Red Wings' salary cap issues, however, Leino was assigned to the team's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins. Then-Red Wings Head Coach Mike Babcock commented that Leino was the "best player" he had ever sent to the minors.[5] Ville was eventually recalled from the Griffins on 29 January 2009.[6]

In the first period of his NHL debut on 31 January 2009, Leino scored a goal against goaltender José Théodore in a 4–2 loss to the Washington Capitals.[7]

Leino signed a one-way, two-year extension with the Red Wings on 6 July 2009.

On 6 February 2010, Leino was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Norwegian defenceman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen and a fifth-round draft pick in 2011.[8] Leino had two goals and two assists in 14 games with the Flyers during the regular season. He then began the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs out of the lineup as a healthy scratch, but injuries to Simon Gagné and Jeff Carter forced Leino into action. Forming the most offensively-productive line in the playoffs alongside Daniel Brière and Scott Hartnell, Leino scored seven goals and 14 assists for 21 points in 19 games, tying the rookie record for most points in the Stanley Cup playoffs held by Dino Ciccarelli.[9]

On 12 March 2011, during the 2010–11 regular season, Leino recorded his first career hat-trick against the Atlanta Thrashers. On 24 April, during the first round of the 2011 playoffs against the Buffalo Sabres, Leino scored the game-winning goal in overtime of Game 6 of the series to bring Philadelphia even with Buffalo, three games apiece. He finished the playoffs with three goals and two assists as the Flyers were ultimately swept in the Eastern Conference Semifinals by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.

Leino became an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2011 season, whereupon he signed a six-year, $27 million contract with Buffalo on 1 July 2011.[10] His performance during the 2011–12 season, however, was much maligned, as he scored just eight goals with 17 assists during 71 games, failing to live up to the expectations of his recently signed contract. Continuing sub-par play in the 2012–13 and 2013–14 seasons (he failed to score a single goal in the latter) prompted incoming Head Coach Ted Nolan to bench Leino near the end of the 2013–14 season, leading to speculation that the Sabres would buy out his contract at the end of the season. On 17 June, in the off-season, the Sabres indeed placed Leino on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a compliance buyout.[11] Leino would later reflect upon his final season in Buffalo as a very unpleasant experience, akin to spending time in jail because of the high pressure on him to live up to his contract.[12]

Return to Europe[edit]

As an unrestricted free agent again, Leino attended the Boston Bruins training camp for the 2014–15 season on a player tryout offer, but was eventually released from the team on 29 September. He returned to Europe in signing a one-year contract with Croatian-based Kontinental Hockey League club, KHL Medveščak Zagreb, on 12 October 2014. After scoring 15 points in 28 games in Zagreb, Leino left to sign in the Swiss league for the remainder of the campaign with the Kloten Flyers of the National League A on 13 February 2015.

On 24 July 2015, Leino made a return to the KHL in signing a one-year contract with Latvian club, Dinamo Riga of the KHL.[13]

On 3 October 2017, Leino announced his retirement.[14]

International play[edit]

Leino made his international debut for Finland on the 2006–07 Euro Hockey Tour.

Records[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2000–01 SaPKo Suomi-sarja 2 0 0 0 16
2001–02 SaPKo Suomi-sarja 15 6 6 12 4
2002–03 Ilves SM-l 23 1 1 2 0
2003–04 Ilves SM-l 54 9 15 24 26 7 1 1 2 4
2004–05 Ilves SM-l 56 8 11 19 32 7 1 0 1 2
2005–06 HPK SM-l 56 12 31 43 65 13 3 9 12 4
2006–07 HPK SM-l 50 11 29 40 73 8 1 9 10 31
2007–08 Jokerit SM-l 55 28 49 77 18 14 8 11 19 8
2008–09 Detroit Red Wings NHL 13 5 4 9 6 7 0 2 2 0
2008–09 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 57 15 31 46 18 10 3 10 13 10
2009–10 Detroit Red Wings NHL 42 4 3 7 6
2009–10 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 13 2 2 4 4 19 7 14 21 6
2010–11 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 81 19 34 53 22 11 3 2 5 0
2011–12 Buffalo Sabres NHL 71 8 17 25 16
2012–13 Buffalo Sabres NHL 8 2 4 6 6
2013–14 Buffalo Sabres NHL 58 0 15 15 10
2014–15 KHL Medveščak Zagreb KHL 28 7 8 15 28
2014–15 Kloten Flyers NLA 4 0 1 1 0
2015–16 Dinamo Riga KHL 39 3 9 12 8
2015–16 Växjö Lakers SHL 17 2 12 14 2 13 0 3 3 8
Liiga totals 294 69 136 205 214 49 14 30 44 49
NHL totals 286 40 79 119 70 37 10 18 28 6

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Leino breaks points record for Jokerit" (in Finnish). jatkoaika.com. 2007-03-28. Retrieved 2012-04-15. 
  2. ^ "Jokerit's Ville Leino receives Lasse Oksanen trophy". Liiga. 1 April 2007. Archived from the original on 11 September 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "Red Wings Sign Leino From Finnish Elite League". The Canadien Press. TSN.ca. Retrieved 1 February 2009. 
  4. ^ "Leino signs 1-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings". redwings.nhl.com. 10 May 2008. Retrieved 10 November 2008. 
  5. ^ "Heres the deal: Ericsson,Helm and Leino sent down". detroitfreepress.com. 7 October 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2009. 
  6. ^ "Red Wings recall Ville Leino, Aaron Downey, as Brad Stuart placed on IR". mlive.com. 29 January 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2009. 
  7. ^ "Ovechkin takes over as Capitals extend Wings' skid to five". cbssportline.com. 31 January 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2009. 
  8. ^ "RED WINGS TRADE LEINO TO FLYERS FOR TOLLEFSEN". TSN. 6 February 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2010. 
  9. ^ "Stanley Cup Final Game 6 pre-game notes". nhl.com. 9 June 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2010. 
  10. ^ "NHL Free Agent Tracker". The Sports Network. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  11. ^ "Sabres place Ville Leino on waivers for purpose of buyout". The Sports Network. 2014-06-14. Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  12. ^ http://buffalonews.com/2017/05/16/leino-looks-back-final-year-sabres-jail/
  13. ^ "Dinamo signs Finnish striker Ville Leino" (in Latvian). Dinamo Riga. 2015-07-24. Retrieved 2015-07-24. 
  14. ^ Kunnari, Timo (3 October 2017). "Kiekkotaiteilija Ville Leino lopettaa peliuransa: "En ole mistään katkera"". iltalehti.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved 3 October 2017. 
  15. ^ "Liiga All-Stars announced" (in Finnish). Liiga. 2008-02-01. Retrieved 2008-02-01. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Cory Murphy
Winner of the Lasse Oksanen trophy
2007–08
Succeeded by
Juuso Riksman