Saturday, February 6, 2010

Flyers acquire Leino for Tollefsen

Clearly upset about not getting Ilya Kovalchuk the other day, the Flyers made a trade to get the next best thing: Ville Leino. Okay, he's not really the next best thing or even the 50th best thing, but this is still a good move by the Flyers.

The Flyers acquired Leino from the Red Wings for Ole-Kristian Tollefsen and a 5th round pick. Leino, who has 55 games of NHL experience, is mostly a depth forward. He showed some real potential last season in Detroit when he scored 9 points in 13 games but fell off this season, notching only 7 points in 42 games. Leino is known to have a good touch around the net and put up great numbers back when he played in the AHL and in Finland.

Leino figures to just be a 3rd or 4th liner with the Flyers. If he somehow finds his scoring touch, he could be a solid contributor, but I wouldn't expect anything more than 5 or 6 goals out of him for the rest of the season. The Red Wings likely dealt Leino because they were tired of waiting for him to break out and they have injured players they needed to make room for; the Flyers are taking a chance on Leino that a change of scenery will jump-start his career.

As for Tollefsen, his time in Philadelphia had run its course. With the recent signing of Lukas Krajicek, Tollefsen was the odd man out on defense. With Danny Syvret set to return at some point after the Olympics, Tollefsen was going to be the odd man out so the Flyers were smart to turn him into an asset rather then simply waive him and lose him for nothing.

As for the cap implications, Leino will be around this year and next for 800,000. He makes 200K more than Tollefsen so the Flyers find themselves inching closer to the cap. There is some early speculation that this is just the first of a few moves for the Flyers, who still find themselves thin on defense and deep at forward. Paul Holmgren could be working on another deal that would land a bigger name defenseman at some point before the roster freeze due to the Olympic break.

While this isn't an impact move or even the Flyers answer to the Devils acquisition of Kovalchuk, Holmgren deserves some credit for ridding the team of a player who had become useless and actually getting something in return. If Leino develops into that sniping forward the Flyers have been desperate for, that would be all the better.

1 comment:

JFein said...

OKT for a bag of pucks would have been a great deal. Getting an actual human being for him flat out rocks.