Seven Questions For The Buffalo Sabres Going Forward

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Feb 10, 2015; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres right wing Patrick Kaleta (36) fights with Ottawa Senators defenseman

Mark Borowiecki

(74) during the second period at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

3. The Patrick Kaleta Debate

The Buffalo Sabres have a couple of free agents to deal with this summer, including pending UFA Patrick Kaleta. Kaleta’s been a member of the Sabres organization for years – he’s the longest-tenured player on the team, despite the fact that he’s currently injured.

But his years with his hometown team have been peppered with injuries and suspensions, and Kaleta simply doesn’t produce at a viable rate on the ice. He’s making $1.25 million this season, but the question going forward is: does he have a spot in the Sabres lineup, or is it time to unload a bit of dead weight and start with a clean slate?

Over the years, Kaleta’s appeared in 339 games for the Sabres since the 2006-07 season. He’s never played more than 63 games in a season, appeared in just 33 games this season and just 12 last season between Buffalo AND Rochester. He’s put up 10+ points just twice in his NHL career.

Although no one would argue that you sign Kaleta as a points-producing player, the question begs: what is he actually bringing to the organization, and is it worth it to make an investment in him, whether it be a one-year contract or longer?

Next: Bye, Bye, Bye Grigorenko?