Some of you might be sick of hearing it at this point, but let's talk about Ville Leino's contract.
This albatross signifies, to me, most of what went wrong with the Sabres from 2011-13; spending money not on the right players, but simply to spend. Leino wasn't the type of player who would fit perfectly into Lindy Ruff's two way, everyone-do-everything system, he needs to be protected with cushy zone starts and plenty of unearned power play time. He was simply signed because he was the next best thing once Brad Richards was off the market, and because Darcy Regier had a mandate to spend PegulaBucks at any cost.
Fast forward to today, and Leino has become a whipping boy among fans for a number of reasons. He doesn't skate hard, passes up shots far too often, and has questioned his coach and the organization (or simply played dumb, I'm not sure which is worse) through the media. But the biggest reason he's fallen out of favor is because he simply doesn't produce. At all.
Leino doesn't have a single goal this season, through 47 games, and hasn't scored a goal since March 30, 2013. For this, the Sabres are paying him $4.5 million, making Leino the team's highest paid forward. It literally boggles my mind every time I think about it.
But how does he stack up against the rest of the NHL? Thanks to CapGeek's Bargain Hunter tool, we're able to take a look at the 10 worst forwards in terms of dollars per goal, and guess who tops the list?
It's a bit of a contrived measure of value (after all, there's more to hockey than scoring goals) but it's an easy way to show how little value Buffalo is getting from - all together now - their highest paid forward. There's simply not much more to say other than the signing of Ville Leino has been a colossal disaster in Buffalo. Earmarked for a compliance buyout this summer, the end of the Leino era can't come soon enough.