Earlier this afternoon, the Buffalo Sabres have announced the signing of RFA Patrick Kaleta to a 3 Year / $3.825 million contract. One of the NHL's most well-known instigators, Kaleta's contract will be for a yearly cap hit of $1.275 million and it will take him well into his UFA years. While this number is relatively low, it is a 40% salary increase when compared to his last contract ($.907 million/year).
On the statistical side of things, Kaleta produced his second highest seasonal point total with 10 points in 63 games. While often caught by the injury bug, Patrick has become utilized well in a defensive and PK role on the team, and has shown to be playing quite difficult competition when examining his Player Usage Charts. For some personal thoughts, come take the jump.
|2011 - Patrick Kaleta||63||5||5||10||-5||116||0||0||1||69|
Overall, I find this signing as a solid deal. Cap wise, it is relatively cheap, and when Kaleta is healthy, he brings a lot of hockey skills (defensive responsibility, instigating, toughness) when compared to other fourth liners. One of my goals this off-season was to acquire another center with good faceoff percentage who would center Pat and Nathan Gerbe to create a shut-down fourth line. That type of deal would have replaced the production from Paul Gaustad, who for two weeks before the trade deadline centered one of the better lines on the Sabres. Please list your personal thoughts on the deal in the comments below.