In case you missed the news from this morning the Buffalo Sabres waived Patrick Kaleta after his 10 game suspension and are sending him down to the Rochester Americans so that “he can find his game.” What kind of message does waiving Patrick Kaleta send to the rest of the Sabres locker room?
First off the Buffalo Sabres had to make a roster move today with both Kaleta and Cory Tropp ready to return to the line-up they had
too many players with the Sabres. Somebody had to go and that somebody became Kaleta. Kaleta is the easy person to move down right now, coming off a controversial 10 game suspension, a failed appeal for the suspension and a tarnished view from the league. While Kaleta can sometimes lose track of the line and cross the line, waiving Kaleta sends the wrong message to the rest of the team.
Last week I wrote about the how the Sabres are portrayed as a dirty team throughout the NHL and waiving Kaleta is simply an attempt for the Sabres to save face in the hockey world. If this isn’t a PR move by Darcy Regier to buy some love from the league by waiving Kaleta, then I don’t know what is. Having Kaleta play has become detrimental to the Sabres in the eye of the league and by waiving Kaleta it helps give the impression that Sabres won’t support that kind of hockey anymore.
In decision to uphold Kaleta’s suspension, testimony from team that Kaleta was playing Buffalo’s ‘system’ Now waivers for doing his job?
— Craig Button (@CraigJButton) November 2, 2013
Kaleta has gone from being one of the most useful 3rd/4th line role players for the Sabres to a guy who needs to re-learn how to play in the NHL (Darcy Regier‘s words). The Sabres have gone from standing up and praising Kaleta’s style of hard-hitting hockey to throwing him to the wolves as the scapegoat for the Sabres.
While Patrick Kaleta didn’t contribute much on the scoreboard one could argue that he was the heart and soul of the Buffalo Sabres. He never ever took a shift off on the ice. He was always hitting, blocking shots, killing penalties and standing up for his teammates. Name one player (aside from maybe Steve Ott) who worked half as hard as Patrick Kaleta on the roster? He plays with heart and gives it his all every single night, there’s not many other players like that in the Sabres organization where are the Sabres’ rookies supposed to learn that kind of passion from, Drew Stafford?
With Kaleta waived one has to think once John Scott finishes his suspension, he too will be on his way to Rochester as Regier attempts to clean up the Sabres image and roll with Corey Tropp and Steve Ott as the tough guys. What does this mean going forward for the Buffalo Sabres? How do you feel about Kaleta being waived and who’s next?