Tyler J. Altemose
It's the beginning of what I can only assume will be a long, strenuous offseason signing saga with the Philadelphia Flyers. Today, I came across some news about Finnish forward Ville Leino. In a tweet by Broad Street Hockey's Teemu Hytonen, it was suggested that the soon-to-be-free agent and his agent, Bill Zito, have once again begun contract negotiations.
Of course, this quote does come from Jukka Jalonen, head coach for Team Finland in the World Championships. And let's be frank--how much does the guy really know about the intricaties of the situation? But then again, if it's something keeping him from playing for his country (and it isn't an injury, as is the case with fellow countryman Kimmo Timonen), don't you think it's kind of a big deal?
Back in February, it was reported by Tim Panaccio that Leino and his agent had engaged in contract negotiations and had come to an agreement as follows:
"Several sources tell CSNPhilly.com that the Flyers are offering a three and four-year contract worth between $9 million and $12 million, depending upon length.
At least one prominent executive in the Flyers organization believes the 27-year-old right wing won't get a better deal in unrestricted free agency this July than what the Flyers are offering."
Here we are again, three months to the day, and apparently all concerned parties are back at it. Is what this "prominent executive" said true? Could Leino really take a hit in pay just to stay with the Flyers? He would have to after the Flyers acquired Kris Versteeg and his over $3M contract.
As with most Flyers-related news these days, there are more questions than answers.