Wings deal Leino as Franzen nears return
The Detroit Red Wings on Saturday traded forward Ville Leino to the Philadelphia Flyers for defenceman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen and a fifth-round pick in the 2011 draft.
Detroit subsequently put Tollefsen on waivers. If he clears, the NHL's only current Norwegian-born player is expected to be assigned to the Red Wings' AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Saturday's moves will keep Detroit under the NHL's salary cap when Johan Franzen returns to the lineup from knee surgery. The big winger, who appeared in just three games this season before suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee that required surgery, is slated to play Tuesday in St. Louis. That's at least a few weeks earlier than expected.
Franzen's return figures to boost the Red Wings, who are out of a playoff position heading into Saturday's action. The big winger scored 34 goals in 2008-09.
Leino, who helped Detroit reach the Stanley Cup final last spring, had just four goals in 42 games this season.
"Obviously, the cap forced us to make a decision," Detroit general manager Ken Holland told the Detroit News.
"With all the players we lost last summer, there was an opportunity for Ville to grab an offensive job with us, but he wasn't as productive as we had hoped or expected."