Simon Gagne and Ville Leino offer intriguing potential at Bruins training camp
|Bruins' killer Simon Gagne now has a chance to play for the Black and Gold. Photo: Matt Slocum/AP File|
According to a recent article on NESN.com, Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron "initiated the process of bringing him [Gagne] to town". The Quebec native spoke with Bergeron after sitting out the entire 2013-2014 season with lingering neck, head, and groin injuries. Gagne has struggled in his past two NHL seasons posting only 12 goals in 72 regular season games, but he offers little risk and potentially high rewards for the Bruins this year.
Last time the Bruins saw Ville Leino, he was battling against them in Buffalo. Since Leino received a 6 year, $27 million contract from the Bruins' division rival, he has been a major disappointment notching only 46 points in 137 games. Leino's big contract was thought by many to be too generous, but the Finn's playoff performance in Philly was the main reason for the lucrative deal. Buffalo decided to go in a different direction and let other NHL clubs give Leino another chance.
Gagne and Leino are in the twilight of their careers being both 34 and 30 years old respectively. Gagne is not the same player he once was and has an injury history. However, Gagne is a two-time Canadian Olympian and a 13 year NHL veteran with a lethal scoring touch and speed the Bruins desperately need. Leino is a potential replacement on the bottom two lines and is being paid by the Sabres so he helps relieve the difficult cap situation in Boston.
There are many promising young players in Wilmington this fall, but Bruins' head coach Claude Julien has favored veterans in the past. If Gagne and/or Leino show flashes of their past play this preseason, they may find themselves in the starting lineup on October 8th against their former club.
(Leino's playoff performance via NHL.com)