GOING TO ROCHESTER — Pictured is Patrick Kaleta, who has been placed on waivers. Photo courtesy of Ian Ott and the Buffalo Sabres.
BUFFALO — The Buffalo Sabres have announced that the team has placed forward Patrick Kaleta, an Angola native, on waivers.
Kaleta has recently been on the NHL’s hot seat for his “reckless style of play,” most recently receiving a 10-game suspension for a hit to the head of Columbus’ Jack Johnson on Oct. 10.
Kaleta has appeared in only five games this year. He has been suspended twice, during his last 21 games played, and four times in his career. His suspension was scheduled to end prior to the Sabres’ game against the Anaheim Ducks on Nov. 2.
On Saturday afternoon, the Buffalo Sabres announced that Kaleta had been waived. Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier said, “This was a move we thought was necessary, to help Pat change his game and preserve his career in this league. We believe in Pat as a person and we hope he will continue his career in our organization and, if the circumstances are right, with the Buffalo Sabres.”
Kaleta was the Sabres’ sixth round choice (176th overall) in the 2004 entry draft. During his career, Kaleta has played 306 games for the Sabres, collecting 27 goals and 24 assists, to go along with 506 penalty minutes.
He and the team agreed to a three-year, $3.825 million contract extension in June 2012, which included this season and next.
In speaking to the media prior to Saturday’s game with Anaheim, Regier said that, with Kaleta’s rugged style of play, the right winger is now a target of NHL referees and its front office. Regier said that he is hoping that time in Rochester will allow Kaleta the opportunity to fine-tune his game.
“I have no question about his ability,” the general manager said. “I really believe he can change. He’s 27 and he has the ability to do that and be an effective player in the NHL.”
Regier said that the Buffalo Sabres had tried to trade Kaleta, but had no takers. Kaleta cleared waivers Sunday afternoon and the Sabres optioned him to their American Hockey League affiliate, the Rochester Amerks.