The Buffalo Sabres have lost the services of agitator Patrick Kaleta for the next 4-6 weeks following surgery on a lower-body injury, head coach Ted Nolan confirmed on Monday.
“Anybody that plays as hard as he does and what this team means to him and this organization and the city, he wears everything on his sleeve, boy his heart’s on his sleeve and when you play that way, sometimes certain things are going to break down,” Nolan said, per WGR 550 Radio.
Kaleta, 28, returned to the Sabres lineup this year after spending almost all of last season with a torn ACL. While he hasn’t been overly effective — just three points while averaging 8:38 TOI over 33 games — the New York Post floated Kaleta as a potential trade deadline target for the Rangers:
Remember last January when there was almost universal skepticism — if not revulsion — when Sather acquired Daniel Carcillo from LA? Remember how useful Carcillo was until that moment in Game 3 of the conference finals against Montreal when he became engaged with linesman Scott Driscoll and elbowed his way out of New York?
Well, presented for your (and Sather’s) consideration, another reclamation project right up the general manager’s alley.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Sabres’ Patrick Kaleta, the notorious pending free agent who, when not injuring opponents with headshots and when maintaining his discipline, is exactly the tough, grinding depth winger so necessary to go deep in the playoffs.
Kaleta’s in the last of a three-year, $3.75 million deal with a $1.25M cap hit. It’s unclear what he would cost in terms of a trade, but Buffalo’s asking price could be significantly lowered if he’s unable to return until the end of March.