|2009 - Ville Leino||55||6||5||11||-8||10||1||2||49||13:05||77||7.8|
If you're judging Ville Leino's season by the actual season part, you're not going to get a very positive response. Of course, Leino spent most of the year with the Detroit Red Wings, and if you mention Leino's name to fans in the Motor City, you're probably going to get some response in between "didn't fulfill his outstanding potential" to "he f***ing sucks."
Then again, if you ask a Red Wings fan who watched the playoffs what they think of Leino, they'll probably respond something like "we only got OK Tollefsen for this guy?"
Ville's days in orange and black this season were, as we all know, a completely different story than his days in red, where he ultimately became a throw away when a superstar was ready to return from injury.
Sure, it took awhile for Leino to make something of his days with the Flyers. He sat in the press box for a good bit of time, and even sat in favor of Riley Cote in one crucial April game against the Rangers. He voiced his frustration that night, but a few days later when the Flyers snuck into the playoffs by the skin of their teeth, all would soon be forgotten.
The Artist Formerly Known As Ville Leino morphed into Big Ville Style during the playoffs, putting together the most impressive rookie playoff run this city has ever seen. Sure, he's 26 and has played in two Cup Finals, and he's still considered a rookie. But nevertheless, Leino's 21 points in 19 2010 playoff games will go down in Flyers lore.
More importantly, perhaps, he developed exciting chemistry with Scott Hartnell and Danny Briere in the postseason, helping the former to break out of a season-long slump and helping the latter solidify his reputation as a playoff workhorse. As the new season dawns in two months time, the chemistry formed between these players during the Flyers exciting playoff run hopes to continue.
If that happens, Leino and his $800k cap hit could prove to be one of the best bargains in the NHL.