For the first time in three summers, Ville Leino had time and health on his side. It allowed him to work out, shed pounds and forget about a lost season.

He hopes the efforts won't go to waste because of a lockout.

Leino is among the legions of NHL players who spent the summer preparing for a season that may not come. The Buffalo Sabres' forward will spend the next week hoping the league and players' association can agree on a new collective bargaining agreement before the current one expires Sept. 15.