Leino, who has three years remaining on a six-year, $27 million contract, carries an annual average value of $4.5 million per season.
The Sabres signed the forward after his career-high 19 goals with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010-2011. The total contract was for six years and a $27 million.
Leino has been anything but a scorer as he has only 10 goals in 137 games in the blue and gold. He also failed to score in his 58 games this past season, only netting a shootout goal.
"Free agency starts first of July, and we'll go from there," Leino's agent, Markus Lehto, told the Buffalo News, adding Leino was not surprised by the buyout. "His priority is to play in the NHL. He knows he's a very good NHL player. Obviously, the past two seasons have been just average, I would say, but I'm not going to go and try and analyze what happened. I mean, we'll just look forward."
Leino has also been hampered by injuries while in Buffalo. Leino missed 11 games in 2011-2012, only appeared in 8 games in 2012-2013, and then played 58 in 2013-2014. The time missed plus the lack of productivity led to the buy out.
The Sabres could avoid a buy out if a team claims the forward off of waivers, however with his cap hit it seems unlikely.
The window to buy out players opened Monday and will remain open until June 30. Teams are allowed to use two special buyouts to be used after this season which will allow the Sabres to buy Leino out without his contract counting against the salary cap.
According to capgeek.com, the Sabres will save $4 million a year for the next three seasons.
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