When Matt Cooke was getting suspended on a regular basis a few seasons ago, the Pittsburgh Penguins pretty much told him to change his ways or he would no longer be with the organization. On Saturday, as his 10-game suspension came to an end, the Buffalo Sabres took a different route in hopes of getting Patrick Kaleta to alter his game: they placed him on waivers.
Via press release, here's Sabres general manager Darcy Regier's statement:
“This was a move we thought was necessary to help Pat change his game and preserve his career in this league,” Regier said. “We believe in Pat as a person and we hope he will continue his career in our organization and, if the circumstances are right, with the Buffalo Sabres.”
Not entirely sure how putting Kaleta in the AHL will cause him to suddenly become angelic. This is basically the Sabres trying to rid themselves of a player who's a suspension risk every time he's on the ice, despite the fact he's not a full-on goon. He can play a bit when not hunting heads. (Kaleta still has one year left on his contract with a $1.25 million cap hit)
Kaleta has been suspended a total of 19 games over the past three seasons. If no NHL claims him on waivers, he will be eligible to report to the Sabres' AHL side in Rochester.
Meanwhile, in other Sabres news, John Scott is somewhat blaming NBC's Pierre McGuire for getting it into people's heads that his hit on Loui Eriksson was late.
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