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Sabres' Nolan on Leino: 'It doesn't matter what your skill level is. It's nothing with no will'

By John Vogl

Ville Leino has no goals in 30 games. He takes less than one shot per outing. He seems uninterested some nights.

Add it all up and it results in a fourth-line role and a spot in Ted Nolan's doghouse.

Leino skated at center today with left wing John Scott and right wing Matt Ellis. He'll likely be there Tuesday when the Sabres host Florida.

"We’re looking for people that want to compete and want to work," Nolan said in First Niagara Center. "It doesn’t matter what your skill level is. It’s nothing with no will. We have to get him competing at a certain level. Some days he shows it. Some days he doesn’t.

"You're frustrated with most people that don’t do it on a consistent basis. He’s showed some signs lately."

Leino continues to provide evidence he may be the worst free-agent signing in NHL history. In the third season of his six-year, $27 million deal, Leino has no goals, six assists and a minus-8 rating in 30 games. He has taken just 22 shots, which ranks 575th in the league. He has no points in the last eight outings.


Ville Leino
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |