2013 Buffalo Sabres Report Cards: Patrick Kaleta
The Buffalo Sabres 2013 season began with high expectations, and ended with nothing but empty Twitter fights atop a smoldering pile of ashes. Now that we've had some time to reflect, we're here to grade every player who wore the blue and gold this season, from Adam to Weber.
#36 / Right Wing / Buffalo Sabres
Jun 08, 1986
|2012 - Patrick Kaleta||34||1||0||1||-4||67||0||0||0||34|
Contract: $6.25 million cap hit in 2013-2014. Currently scheduled to be an Unrestricted Free Agent after next season.
Report Card for 2012: ??
Introduction: You know the story by now. Ryan Miller is entering the last year of his contract, and as the (unofficial) rebuild of this franchise continues, there is a prevailing sentiment that his career as a Buffalo Sabre could be coming to an end sooner than later. Miller has found himself a polarizing figure during his tenure. You either love him for his consistency and candidly honest comments in the media, or you consider him overrated and imagine other ways in which that $6.25 million could be spread around the roster. He's the unquestionable face of this franchise, and has been since the departure of Briere/Drury.
Perhaps Miller won't truly be appreciated for his time here in Buffalo until he's gone. He surpassed Sabres (and NHL) legend Dominik Hasek this year in both wins and games played. The season finale marked his 500th game suiting up in the blue and gold (ahem, or red and black). But now is not the time for a Ryan Miller retrospective. Perhaps that time won't be for a number of years still. Who knows. This is simply a look at Miller's 2012-2013 campaign.
Key Stat: ONE GOAL, on 34 shots. That's good for a 2.9% shooting percentage. I know, he's not out there to score goals, but at one point early in Kaleta's career he at least showed the nose for grabbing a goal here or there (especially shorthanded) and showing better instincts on when to pick and choose his spots than he did this year. View
Thumbs Up: He's at least affordable, with his $1.25 million salary not presenting too much of a detriment to the team. He also lead the league by a long shot in penalties drawn per 60 minutes for players with over 20 games played. He's always at or near the top of this category, which leads to more power plays every year for Buffalo.
He also remains a great penalty killer and has shown more of a willingness as his career has developed to block shots and to fight when the situation calls for it. At this point, Kaleta is a known commodity. It's up to you to decide whether or not you consider him a value to the team.
Thumbs Down: That shooting percentage ranks him dead last on the team for anyone that took more than 15 shots. We're not short on guys with "heart" on this team ("Heart" in this case meaning "Pretty bad at hockey"), so Kaleta will need to carve some sort of extra value on this team for me to look at him as any more than a below average hockey player who is there to carry the hometown banner.
He also had a down year in hits, thanks to yet another injury that only allowed him to play 34 games. At this point in his career, you can only bank on 50-60 games per season from Kaleta. Is that enough for what he brings?
Voting: Using the good old grade system of A, B, C, D, F, with A representing a great season, C an average season, and F a very poor season, grade Pat Kaleta on his performance this season compared to the expectations you had for him.
How would you grade Pat Kaleta's 2013 season?