The Buffalo Sabres waived forward Patrick Kaleta this afternoon, and the team should receive the message loud and clear. This is a statement by a squad that has been making the news for all the wrong reasons lately. Between Kaleta’s antics and John Scott’s suspension, Buffalo had suddenly rendered itself a reputation as a team that is more than willing to employ junkyard dogs.
They cut one of those dogs lose today, and the impact of that shouldn’t be overlooked.
#Sabres‘ Regier said Kaleta waivers “was a move we thought was necessary to help Pat change his game and preserve his career in this league”
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) November 2, 2013
There’s a good chance that Kaleta clears waivers. In a harsh economic climate where veterans that can contribute points (Vaclav Prospal, Simon Gagne) are still sitting as free agents, it would be shocking to see someone pick up the tab on Kaleta’s $1.25 million dollar contract.
That deal still has one more year left on it, and is probably too rich for a player that has a history of being a minus player, violence and has contributed all of 51 points through 306 games. If Kaleta ends up unemployed (and it’s our speculation that he will) then the implications are clear.
Make plays like Kaleta and end up out of the league. Bring nothing but goonery to the ice and play in the minors.
Could the guy fix his game and end up contributing along the same lines as a Matt Cooke? Perhaps, but at this point it seems much more feasible that he’ll have to find work outside of the NHL. A week ago it didn’t seem likely that we’d say this, but more teams in the NHL should be this aggressive in dealing with problem students.
Nothing sends a message quite like hacking into a man’s well being.