Over the next couple of weeks we will have a new feature on Die by the Blade. WE will take a look at the players that will be free agents as of July 1. The restricted free agents will be first and the unrestricted will follow.
- Patrick Kaleta (RFA)
- Clarke MacArthur (RFA)
- Andrej Sekera (RFA)
- Drew Stafford (RFA)
- Max Afinogenov (UFA)
- Dominic Moore (UFA)
- Andrew Peters (UFA)
- Jaro Spacek (UFA)
- Mikael Tellqvist (UFA) - signed with Ak-Bars in KHL.
|2008 - Patrick Kaleta||51||4||5||9||1||89||0||0||0||0||35||11.4|
Kaleta emerged as an everyday player during the 2007-2008 season but many people were skeptical as to whether he would remain in the Sabres lineup this season. He did remain in the Sabres lineup although he suffered through some injuries including several head related injuries.
Kaleta is the type of player that you hate to play against but love to have on your team. I know that expresion gets thrown around a lot but in the case of Kaleta, it is 100% true and there is no better way to describe him.
Kaleta is not only a player that can get under the skin of is opponent but he is a decent hockey player as well. He spent some time killing off penalties for the Sabres this season and he can play in a defensive role on the team. He finished the season with a plus one rating in 51 games.
Kaleta often finds himself in the penalty box for taking extra liberties with opponents. He has developed a reputation as being a cheap hockey player and in may respects he is. His hits are often borderline if not completely late and sometimes leaves his feet to make a hit.
Kaleta also has developed some injuries that may be the type of injuries that linger on throughout his career. Sabres fans have a pretty good understanding of head and neck injuries with Pat Lafontaine and Tim Connolly. Kaleta would fall into that category of a player with a history of head related injuries.
The Sabres need to sgn Kaleta for a couple more seasons. The price tag will be relatively inexpensive and he brings a lot to the team. The Sabres are widely known as being a soft team and they need more players with the grit that Kaleta has.
The Sabres will be able to sign Kaleta to a new contract. It is possible that another team may try to sign him to an offer sheet but I find that scenario to be highly unlikely.
[Note by D.O., 05/05/09 12:05 PM EDT ] Great link that was posted by The Forechecker in the comments. It is a look at the penalty plus/minus leaders in the NHL.