Wings trade Leino

leinoThe Detroit Red Wings traded forward Ville Leino to the Philadelphia Flyers today for defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen and a fifth-round pick in the 2011 NHL draft.

Leino has been the subject of trade speculation for some time now, especially with forward Johan Franzen on the verge of returning to action. The Finnish forward has been a disappointment this season, scoring only four goals and adding three assists in 42 games with Detroit. Leino has often been a healthy scratch and has been called out several times for his poor effort. However, after losing the Ilya Kovalchuk sweepstakes, the Flyers may look to Leino to add some offensive depth for a long playoff run. With the injuries in Detroit this season, more pressure was placed on Leino to perform well. In Philly, the 26-year-old may thrive in a situation with less pressure to perform, especially if he gets time alongside guys like Richards or Carter.

Tollefsen, an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, should add some toughness to the Red Wings lineup and perhaps even help rejuvenate a defensive unit that plays with lackluster effort at times. With Tollefsen not afraid to drop the gloves, this could signal the end of Brad May’s playing time with the Wings. It’s been rumored that the Wings will waive May and send him to the minors where he may finish out the season before retiring.

The Red Wings were expected to drop salary in order to accommodate the return of Franzen this coming Tuesday. If Andreas Lilja returns after the Olympic break, which he is expected to, the Wings will need to clear additional salary cap space to fit them both in. However, the difference in salary between Leino and Tollefsen is only $200,000. This leads me to believe that the Wings aren’t done moving bodies yet. By waiving May, the Wings will gain an additional $500,000 under the cap. Ken Holland has stated several times that he doesn’t want to carry any more than seven defenseman on the roster. By adding Tollefsen, the Wings now have eight (nine when Lilja returns). With all things considered, defensemen Brett Lebda and Derek Meech could both be on their way out of Detroit within the next few days. Moving those two salaries would free up approximately $1.1 million in cap space. Add in the $500,000 from waiving May and the $200,000 cleared in the Leino deal and the Wings are under by almost $1.8 million, which should be enough to fit Lilja and Franzen back under the cap.

* All numbers are salaries according to cap space, not actual salary per season





4 responses to “Wings trade Leino”

  1. Tony A. Avatar
    Tony A.

    Is Leino celebrating a goal that HE scored in that
    picture. If so, it’s a rare picture- so were his goals.

    One of the HWBloggers wrote a while back that the
    Wings expected much more offense out of theis guy based on his junior career. He sure didn’t produce.

    Nice post- this is the first that I’ve heard of this trade.

  2. Chris Avatar

    Leino came to Detroit with a lot of promise. He was the scoring leader of the Finnish Elite League when we signed him, but he came to Detroit and made an impact in the few games he played last season. They were really hoping for 20+ goals from him this year in the absence of departed free agents, but he never really seemed to come around where guys like Eaves and Miller flourished in their roles. When it came time to drop salary, Leino was the odd man out. I really hope he works hard and commits himself to getting better and that we see him turn into a decent NHL player one day.

  3. Matt Avatar

    He’d be better suited in a less physical league like the KHL. However, if he takes training during the offseason seriously and bulks up a bit, he could come to training camp in the fall a completely different player than what we saw this season with the Wings. Hell, I think he’s going to rebound in Philly regardless. There’s zero pressure on him to succeed like their was in Detroit and their organization is hoping to have him to play with some of the team’s more skilled players.

  4. […] Wings in 2008 after posting 77 points in the Finnish league. Leino came in with high promise but never fully panned out with the Wings but found himself a home with the Philadelphia Flyers where he was a key component in their Stanley […]

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