Better With Popcorn

Flyers Acquire Leino

The Philadelphia Flyers have traded Ole-Kristian Tollefsen and a fifth-round pick in 2011 to the Detroit Red Wings for leftwing Ville Leino.

Leino, 27, was a free-agent signing by the Wings following the 2008 season. His first season playing professional hockey in the AHL, Leino recorded 46 points in 57 games for the Grand Rapids.

Following the completion of his season, Leino was called-up by Detroit and succeeded instantly. He scored five goals and added four assists in 13 games, including a high-light reel goal on his first ever NHL shift.

This season has been a sophomore slump to say the least. The Finnish born winger has only seven points in 42 games and is a minus-10.

From a Flyers’ standpoint, giving up depth defenseman O-KT will hardly be noticed being as he was often injured and on-ice play was suspect to say the least.

Tollefsen is set to be a UFA after this season.

The move for Philadelphia gives the Flyers cap-space relief on the blue line and also gives Danny Syvret and Ryan Parent an opening to come back to, but more importantly it gives the Flyers more offensive talent upfront.

Leino has tremendous offensive upside and oozes creativity and offensive awareness. He will add another dimension to the Flyers’ third or fourth line and could get time on some of the PP and second line. His skating can use some work but hey, who can’t?

Leino has a cap-hit of $800,000 and still has another year left on his contract. He will be a UFA following the 2010-11 campaign.

Detroit signed Leino after ’08 and tried to make him into another diamond in the rough or ‘late-pick gem’ that the Wings are so used to. Maybe he was given up on too early; only time will tell.