Ville Leino

Pegulamania running wild: Sabres sign Ville Leino to six-year, $27 million deal

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What a difference a new owner makes. The arrival of Terry Pegula in Buffalo has brought the Sabres Robyn Regehr, Christian Ehrhoff, and now a new face for their offensive attack as well. The Sabres signed former Flyers forward Ville Leino to a six year, $27 million deal to have him plug in on the Sabres top two lines and continue growing as an offensive threat.

Leino saw his career pickup when he went to Philadelphia after starting his career in Detroit. Under Mike Babcock he struggled but in Philly with Peter Laviolette, he emerged as a threat during the Flyers run to the Stanley Cup finals in 2010 scoring seven goals and adding 14 assists. Last season, Leino scored 19 goals and 34 assists for the Flyers as he helped the Flyers to the Atlantic Division title.

As an unrestricted free agent this year and looking for offers in the range of $4.5 million a year, Leino got his wish and he’s got Buffalo GM Darcy Regier and owner Terry Pegula for it. In Buffalo he’ll team up with Derek Roy, Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville, and Drew Stafford in a pack of scorers that can all finish. The Sabres offense paired up with their improved defense with the additions of Regehr and Ehrhoff, we’re thinking all world goalie Ryan Miller is feeling a lot better about things in western New York.

Sens demote former first-rounder Puempel

Matt Puempel
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Looks like Matt Puempel won’t be making the leap after all.

Puempel, the subject of Ottawa’s “looking to make the leap” profile during our Team of the Day series, has been sent down to AHL Binghamton one day prior to the Sens’ opener against Buffalo.

Puempel, taken by Ottawa in the first round (24th overall) at the ’11 draft, made his big-league debut last season and looked as though he’d stick around — only to suffer a high ankle sprain after 13 games, and miss the rest of the season.

The 22-year-old came into this year’s camp looking to secure a full-time position at the big league level, but was beaten out by Shane Prince for the final forward spot on the roster.

To be fair, contract status probably played a role. Prince would’ve had to clear waivers to get down to Bingo, whereas Puempel didn’t.

A former 30-goal scorer in the American League, Puempel is expected to get another look with Ottawa this season.

Report: Torres won’t appeal 41-game suspension


Sounds like Raffi Torres is accepting his punishment.

Per Sportsnet, Torres won’t appeal his 41-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The report comes just days after the NHL’s Department of Player Safety levied one of the longest disciplinary rulings in league history, citing both the severity of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ lengthy history of suspensions, fines and warnings.

There was some thought, however, that Torres would try to challenge the ruling.


He does have a history of success in that department. In 2012,Torres successfully appealed his suspension for a headshot on Chicago’s Marian Hossa, and had his punishment reduced from 25 games to 21.

Torres also isn’t considered a “repeat offender” under the current collective bargaining agreement, as his last suspension came in 2013.

Of course, part of that clean record is due to the fact he hasn’t played much. Torres has largely been sidelined by injury for the last two seasons, missing all of last year with knee problems.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman delved further into the repeat offender thing in his latest 30 Thoughts column:

If you read the relevant sections of the CBA, the league takes the position that the repeat offender status is only applicable to fines. Repeaters are fined on a per-game basis, non-repeaters on a per-day basis. (The former is more expensive, because there are fewer games than days in an NHL season.) However, if you go to Section 18.2, among the factors taken into account are, “the status of the offender and, specifically, whether the Player has a history of being subject to Supplementary Discipline for On-Ice Conduct.”

So, in the NHL’s view, a player’s history is relevant, even if longer than 18 months ago.

Should the report prove accurate and Torres doesn’t appeal, he will be eligible to return to action on Jan. 14, when the Sharks take on the Oilers.