Ville Leino, starting at 12 noon, is no longer a member of the Philadelphia Flyers.
After putting together a few last ditch efforts to re-sign Leino, including talks that extended into last night and this morning, Leino’s agent, Bill Zito, confirmed to the Daily News that his client will test the open market beginning today at noon.
Leino, 27, is sure to demand a lot of attention from other teams.
With 19 goals and 34 assists last season, Leino is the second-highest scoring free agent on the market after Brad Richards.
He is coming off a two-year, $1.6 million contract that was originally signed with the Detroit Red Wings.
According to sources, the Flyers were willing to go as high as 4 years, $12 million on an offer for Leino, but he believes he can find more on the open market.
It’s hard to blame him, considering Tomas Kopecky - a player two years older with 4 less goals and 7 less assists last season - signed in Florida for the exact same amount earlier this week.
Leino does have a bit of an injury history after an intense hip surgery last summer, something that may make some teams think twice before offering a longer term deal.
Hitting the open market doesn’t preclude the Flyers from bringing Leino back to Philadelphia next season, a place that he has always said he wants to be. It just makes it harder with such a soft market this offseason. The two sides will check back in as the offers come in.
For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers
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