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Patrick Kaleta Clears Waivers, So Where Do The Buffalo Sabres Go From Here?

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Option #2: The Buffalo Sabres Can Take Care of One of Their Own

Apr. 14, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jochen Hecht (55) celebrates his goal with center Nathan Gerbe (42) and right wing Patrick Kaleta (36) during the second period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that Patrick Kaleta is a fan-favorite, partly because he works his tail off every shift, and partly because he is a local boy who grew up playing hockey in nearby Hamburg and West Seneca.  While there’s no doubt that he has seemingly lost the ability to contribute to the Sabres’ offensive woes, and that his reckless style of player is dangerous and no longer tolerated by the NHL, that doesn’t mean that the Sabres need to dump him and turn their backs on him.

Kaleta does have value, especially if he is able to begin adding “smart” to the adjectives that people use to describe his style of play.  He draws penalties and kills off penalties.  Not so long ago, he did pot 10 goals in a season, which would be a solid contribution from a third- or fourth-line player.  And there is no doubt that his physicality and “take no shift off” mentality are desirable traits, so long as Kaleta can play within the current NHL climate.

It would take some patience on the part of the Sabres, but as a team that is in the middle of a huge rebuild, they COULD find a way to help Kaleta rebuild his own career.

Odds that this will be Buffalo’s approach: 100-1

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Topics: Buffalo Sabres, Patrick Kaleta

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  • davidmuscalo

    I don’t think it matters what Kaleta does; weather he changes his game or doesn’t change his game, he is finished in the NHL. Buttman and Shabbyhan have basically told the Sabres, we are not going to tolerate Kaleta in this league. We have selected him to be the first, and perhaps the last, player to be banned from the NHL because we don’t like him. Er, excuse me, we don’t like his style of play.

    I think they have sent a message to the Sabres organization (particularly Terry Pegula) that it is okay for other teams to beat up on you, but it is not okay for you to fight back. You must pay your dues in this league before we will allow you the privilege of building a team that can compete at a high level, and that part of that privilege is allowing your team to be pummeled by the goon squads of other teams.

    • Dano

      David.. You said everything in plain english so everyone should be able to understand what you stated. Good post!

      A HUGE part of the problem in the NHL right now IS a guy from Buffalo..

      NO, his name isnt Pat Kaleta, its Jeremy Jacobs, owner of the Boston Bruins.

      Jacobs pulls Buttmans strings like a puppet. He doesnt like it to much when other teams have the audacity to actually stand up to him/his team.

      Durring this past lockout, Pegulla wanted in on the talks but they were all controlled by Jacobs and his iron fist. How dare the ‘ junior owner ‘ believe he actually has a chance to say anything.

      My question to everybody is that Kaleta has played the way he does his WHOLE life. All of his AHL and NHL time.

      When Kaleta played for Franies ( Saint Francis High ,Catholic League ) he ran ( then ) Bishop Timons players all over the ice. One of then being a nephew of mine ;) . Kaleta ran the kids from Nichols pretty hard. His style of play brought him recognition from quite a few scouts and gained him access into Juniors/the OHL.

      Now, its SUDDENLY a different story? 5 or 6 suspensions later? Why didnt this happen last season when he was suspended? Why not the season before? Why not the year before that?

      The inconsistencies from Colin Campbells reign and now Shannyban can have someone sitting in confusion for hours trying to figure out what the hell they are ( exactly ) trying to do.

      Theres commentators whom are calling Buffalo a ‘ dirty team ‘. Yet, Kronwall of Detroit has been throwing lost of questionable hits for the last 8 years. Someone finally caught up to him this year and laid him out.

      Ovechkin? Brad Marchand of Boston, Jacobs own version of Kaleta? Wiznewski (sp?) ? Lappy?

      On a nightly basis, one can watch ANY of those guys do some dirty things..

    • dave

      I like it Buttman that about says it all LOL

    • http://www.facebook.com/aemoreira81 aemoreira81

      I know that this may sound like an odd example—but Matt Cooke reinvented his game and is now a serviceable third liner and penalty-killer with Minnesota. Patrick Kaleta can change.

      • davidmuscalo

        The difference between Matt Cooke and Patrick Kaleta is that Cooke is a skilled player who plays an edgy game. Unfortunately, Kaleta is not as skilled; he needs to play an edgy game to make up for his lack of scoring to maintain a roster spot.

  • RLS

    Kaleta is expendable, there are more agitators/enforcers on this team than there are star players that need protection. I also don’t see him re-tooling his game and becoming a different kind of player. He does have an excellent work ethic but he lacks the skating skills and puck handling skills to be anything other than what he already is at the NHL level. I do wish him luck

    • DropThe Puck

      How can you say that he lacks skating and puck handling skills? Like his style of game or not, he was one of the Sabres top penalty killers – a role that requires having good skating, body positioning, and hands. Is he a natural goal scorer? No, but if Matt Cooke can reinvent his game, Kaleta’s got a better than average shot at it as well.

      • Timothy Redinger

        I agree with you…a little coaching and he could seriously be a dangerous power forward as opposed to an over the top liability. The thing is though – will he change?

        • Caitlin Campbell

          and do the Sabres have the right kind of coach that will help him change

          • DropThe Puck

            They do now that Randy Cunneyworth is back in the fold. I’m hoping that by season’s end Randy will be behind the bench in Buffalo, having replaced Rolston. Until then he has plenty of time to straighten out Kaleta, assuming Kaleta’s willing to put in the time and effort to reshape his game.

  • DropThe Puck

    So what exactly are you basing your odds on? It has been widely publicized that with Randy Cunneyworth’s return to the organization, his first assignment from the team is to work 1-on-1 with Kaleta in Rochester to help change his game (no real surprise, since Cunneyworth lives in Rochester). Knowing that the Sabres have to pay him anyway, and knowing Darcy’s desire to get value for for every commodity, the only real option the Sabres have is the rehab/reinvention assignment in Rochester that you’ve called a long shot. Kaleta does have energy and raw talent, so if the team is able to reshape his game from “Goon” to “Power Forward” then Darcy is in a position to get value back out of this commodity – either as production with the Sabres or via a trade at the deadline.

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      I base my odds on the book, The Richard Spalding Tome of Knowledge. Or, I am simply guessing. Gut instinct – where else would I get them? The Sabres took a big chance putting him on waivers – they don’t seem too worried about getting value out of him.

      • DropThe Puck

        Quite to the contrary – I think the Sabres are squarely focused on getting value out of Kaleta. On Saturday night Darcy admitted to shopping him around to league GMs BEFORE they waived him – clearly a focus on value. Not a single GM was interested, so the Sabres waived him. If nobody was willing to trade any sort of draft pick for him, then they really couldn’t have thought it to be too much of a risk waiving him – and it turns out they were right, he cleared waivers. If they can’t trade him, and nobody signed him off waivers – what other options do they have with a 27 year old player other than rehabbing him? Clearly the Sabres brass thought of this, because in that same press conference Darcy went on to say that he asked Randy Cunneyworth, if Kaleta cleared waivers, to work with him 1 on 1 to reinvent his game. I’m not saying Kaleta will be successful in reinventing his game, that still remains to be seen. But based on the options the team had, and what Darcy said and did on Saturday, the Sabres are not looking to simply bury this kid in the AHL.

        • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

          No one was interested in trading for him – not quite the same as clearing him off of waivers. That being said, I don’t have a personal preference in either direction the Sabres head. If I’m wrong, good! Hope he pulls his career together.

          • Dano

            I dont think too many people know exactly what the waiving process is or how it works. Might be a good article about ‘ Kaletas process ‘. How he was waived, what happens from there and where he is now. It might clear things up for people.

  • Jes

    He will be traded for sure.

    • DropThe Puck

      Read Darcy’s interview the night they waived him. Before they waived him they shopped him. No takers.

      • Jes

        There’s obviously no market for him now guy. Come payoff time people will be looking for a pest. His type of players are coveted at trade deadline. So ya he will be traded or claimed off re-entry waivers when time comes.

  • Daniel

    Leave him in Amerks till his contract runs out.
    They way the Sabres have played so far,they need a different approach. Myers is a rubbish defenceman. Maybe try him on the right wing like Brent Burns. He would be effective on the forecheck with his height/reach as has one powerful shot. If u put him on the right wing, get Stafford out and buyout Leino aswell. Leave Ennis on the rw with the Hodgson line,then u have Myers,Armia,Tropp and Flynn that can all play decent as well

    • http://www.facebook.com/aemoreira81 aemoreira81

      Kaleta’s contract runs for one more season after this one—I see a standard buyout in the future for Kaleta. Save the compliance buyout for Leino and possibly Ehrhoff (potential for cap recapture).

      • Daniel

        Buyout Stafford and Leino. I like Ville but he is not worth that much and seems injured all the time

        • http://www.facebook.com/aemoreira81 aemoreira81

          Stafford – standard buyout. Leino is the hot garbage.

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  • qwicwted

    I like Kaleta – I think he does have some skill, a great work ethic and I hope he can change his game. Lindy recognized last year that Kaleta had a target on his back and that the league was not going to tolerate the type of game he was playing – they targeted Cook and even Torres and they both had to change. I believe the Sabres were hoping maybe a team like Edmonton would have picked him up to help protect their youth, but since there were no takers they have asked Cunnyworth to work with him specifically one on one. They could have just let him ride the pine in Rochester, but it seems like they want to help him adapt to a new style of play. I remember a few years ago – all he did was go out and run around hitting players, then he started playing on the Penality Kill and he’s good at it. I wish him the best and do hope we see him return to the NHL.

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  • [email protected]

    They will leave him to rot in the AHL. They better let Scott go too, because it wold only be fair…right?