Kaleta to play first game for Sabres in over a year

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Heads up, everyone — Patrick Kaleta is back.

Kaleta, who hasn’t played in the NHL in over a year due to suspension, demotion and injury, will make his season debut for the Sabres on Thursday when they take on the Wild at Xcel.

Kaleta’s last game in October ’13, when he was tossed for elbowing Columbus’ Jack Johnson in the head. A repeat offender, Kaleta was suspended 10 games for the hit and placed on waivers after serving; upon clearing, Kaleta was assigned to AHL Rochester so that, according to then-GM Darcy Reiger, he could put in “a significant amount of work” to “redesign his game.”

Less than a month into his stint with the Amerks, Kaleta tore his ACL and missed the remainder of the season.

The 28-year-old rehabbed and looked primed to make the Sabres out of training camp, only to suffer another injury when he was struck in the face with a puck. That’s kept him out of action for the entirety of this season, missing all 17 of Buffalo’s games.