Patrick Kaleta of the Buffalo Sabres is serving a 10-game suspension for his hit to the head of Jack Johnson of the Columbus Blue Jackets, which he’s currently appealing. On Friday, he addressed the suspension and his over-the-edge style of play … which he says he’s trying to change.
Kaleta says he’s already been working on adjusting his style and continues to do so. “I’ve been changing my game over the past little while. Everyone who’s watched the Sabres and has paid close attention has seen it,” he said. “Like I said, I just need to keep continuing to get better and do what’s best for the team and try to be a positive influence on what’s going on here.”
If that sounds a little bit like what we heard from a guy like Matt Cooke after he was hit with a big suspension from the NHL, well, Cooke reached out to Kaleta and Kaleta respects his input:
From the Sabres:
At first, Kaleta was surprised to hear from Cooke.“It was kind of cool because as you guys know, I don’t really expect to have a lot of friends on other teams and stuff like that,” Kaleta said. “But it’s interesting because I don’t know his background or anything, but I’m assuming he’s worked pretty hard to get to where he is.
“We’re sort of in the same boat there so he kind of understands where I’m coming from and what I have to do to stay in the League and what I have to do to help out the team. It was cool in that aspect and I respect everything he said and hopefully I can use what he said and help myself and my game out.”
Kaleta is eligible to return for the Buffalo Sabres’ home game against the Anaheim Ducks on Nov. 2, pending the appeal.