By John Vogl
Ville Leino met with his agent last week in Finland, and they discussed the probability of his contract being bought out by the Buffalo Sabres. When Markus Lehto called his client today to say the Sabres were indeed letting Leino loose, the news was expected.
"He wasn’t surprised," Lehto told The Buffalo News by phone this afternoon. "He was pretty neutral about it."
The Sabres started their buyout process today by placing Leino on waivers. If he clears in 24 hours -- and Lehto fully expects him to -- Leino will become an unrestricted free agent.
"Free agency starts first of July, and we’ll go from there," Lehto said. "His priority is to play in the NHL. He knows he’s a very good NHL player. Obviously, the past two seasons have been just average, I would say, but I’m not going to go and try and analyze what happened. I mean, we’ll just look forward."