Sunday, August 14, 2016

Ville Leino Swatch Card

Ville Leino will be playing for the Swedish League's Växjö Lakers next season, whose captain is Tomi Kallio.

It's been a while since his two most successful seasons in North America, namely the 2008-09 season that was split between the Grand Rapids Griffins (15 goals, 31 assists and 46 points in 57 games, plus another 13 points in 10 playoff games) and the Detroit Red Wings (5-4-9 in 13 regular-season games and two assists in 7 playoff games) and the 19 goals, 34 assists and 53 points in 81 games he posted with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010-11, not to mention his 21 points in 19 postseason games the previous season as Philly lost in the Stanley Cup Final (an NHL rookie record he shares with Dino Ciccarelli).

His huge free agent contract with the Buffalo Sabres - which made him the league's most overpaid forward not named Scott Gomez - led to a buyout, and after failing to make the Boston Bruins out of training camp, made his way to the KHL's Zagreb Medveščak, the Swiss League's Kloten Flyers, and the KHL's Riga Dinamo before making his way to Sweden.

The well-traveled Finn failed to make Team Finland's upcoming World Cup roster, what with the likes of rookies Patrick Laine and Sebastian Aho making the cut (the fourth-overall pick of the last draft, Jesse Puljujarvi, also mysteriously failed to make the cut).

Here is Leino in what were undoubtedly better days, wearing the Flyers' current/retro orange (now-home) jersey, on card #VI from Panini's 2010-11 Zenith set and Winter Warriors sub-set:
It features a black-and-white stitch piece of Prime Jersey game-worn material (dual-coloured, triple-stitched).

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