Ville Leino remains the NHL’s most likely buyout candidate, but there hasn’t been much talk between the Sabres and his agent.
“I have had few very short discussions about Leino with Tim Murray,” Leino’s agent, Markus Lehto, said by email.
Murray, Buffalo’s general manager, has said it’s a “very good possibility” the team will part ways with Leino. The NHL buyout period will begin 48 hours after the Stanley Cup final ends and continue until June 30.
It will cost the Sabres $7.33 million to buy out the remaining three seasons of Leino’s contract. The team signed him to a six-year, $27 million deal in 2011, and he’s already been paid $16 million.
Buffalo has two buyout options for Leino. The Sabres possess two compliance buyouts, and using one would allow them to remove Leino from their salary cap. However, the Sabres’ salary cap number next season is just under $39 million, according to CapGeek.com, and the salary cap floor will be approximately $52 million. They could use a regular buyout on Leino to help them get to the lower limit.
A normal buyout, according to CapGeek, would leave $1.72 million on the Sabres’ cap this season, $2.22 on the cap in 2015-16 and 2016-17, and $1.22 million from 2017-18 through 2019-20.