Over the weekend the Buffalo Sabres decided to send Patrick Kaleta down to the Rochester Americans following his 10-game suspension so he could evolve his game. But the question all Sabres fans are wondering is whether they will see Patrick Kaleta in blue and gold again.
Rich wrote yesterday on the options the Sabres organization has regarding Kaleta. They can let him rot in Rochester, buy him out or
they can help Kaleta change his game. Right now the later option doesn’t seem to be the way they’re going but you never know. The NHL and Darcy Regier have made it very clear that Patrick Kaleta has to change his game before he makes a return to the NHL and don’t for a minute think that Gary Bettman didn’t influence this decision with Kaleta.
The mission for Kaleta is simple; change your game. Other players like Matt Cooke and Steve Downie have been able to refine their games and are now having success in the NHL, while others like Sean Avery are a forgotten memory. Which path will Kaleta choose?
The toughest pill for Kaleta to swallow is the fact the Sabres themselves aren’t willing to help him change. You look at Cooke’s change, the Pittsburgh Penguins stood by him. They didn’t send him down to the AHL, in fact they used an early exit from the playoffs to help teach Cooke to hit players without breaking the rules.
For whatever reason Darcy Regier decided the AHL would be the best place for Kaleta to learn and change his game. Perhaps the addition of Randy Cunneyworth was aimed to help Kaleta or Regier just doesn’t want him in a Sabres uniform anymore. Whatever the reason, Kaleta has been sent to the AHL to work out his problems.
What do you think: Can Patrick Kaleta successfully refine his game and make a comeback with the Buffalo Sabres or is this the beginning of the end for Kaleta in Buffalo? Place your vote in the poll below.