June 8, 1986 |
Angola, NY, USA
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||206 lb (93 kg; 14 st 10 lb)|
|NHL team||Buffalo Sabres|
|NHL Draft||176th overall, 2004
Patrick Kaleta (born June 8, 1986) is an American professional ice hockey right winger playing for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League (NHL). Kaleta was drafted by the Sabres in the sixth round, 176th overall, of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft and played for the Sabres from 2007 to 2013 before a protracted dispute with the NHL over his playing style led to his dismissal.
Kaleta grew up in the Buffalo suburb of Angola, NY and played most of his minor hockey with Hamburg Hawks and the West Seneca Wings. He played high school hockey for St. Francis HS in Athol Springs. It was there he was discovered by the Peterborough Petes of the OHL who selected him in the 2nd round (31st overall) in the 2002 OHL Draft.
Kaleta spent his junior hockey career with the Peterborough Petes of the OHL where he compiled 147 points and 460 penalty minutes over four seasons. In the 2006 OHL playoffs, Kaleta scored 8 goals and added 10 assists as Peterborough reached the Memorial Cup. Kaleta signed his first professional contract in June, 2006, with the Buffalo Sabres.
On February 21, 2007, partway through his first professional season, Kaleta was called up from the Rochester Americans by his parent club in Buffalo. In his first NHL game on February 22, 2007, against the Ottawa Senators, he earned his first NHL point, an assist on a goal by Clarke MacArthur, and his first NHL fight against Ottawa's Chris Phillips. Kaleta scored his first NHL goal on February 10, 2008, against the Florida Panthers.
Kaleta recorded his first 2-goal game on December 12, 2009, against the New York Rangers, a 3-2 victory for Buffalo. He scored the game winner on a short-handed breakaway, beating Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist high on the glove side.
Kaleta has earned a reputation as a hard hitter, usually playing on the Sabres' fourth line along with the team's enforcers (Andrew Peters and Adam Mair during their time in Buffalo, and currently Cody McCormick and John Scott). Kaleta describes his style as such: "I try to play a clean, hard-nosed game. A lot of people don't like that."
Kaleta is just the third (depending on definition) native of the Buffalo Niagara Region to play for the hometown Sabres in the regular season. Buffalo's Peter Ciavaglia played in 5 games between 1991 and 1993, Scott Thomas played 39 games for the Sabres between 1992 and 1994, and South Buffalo native Tim Kennedy joined the Sabres after Kaleta. (Although Marcus Foligno was born in Buffalo, he spent most of his childhood in his father's hometown of Sudbury, Ontario.) Of these, Kaleta has spent the most time and played the most games for Buffalo. (Counting players near Buffalo on the Canadian side of the border, the list expands to include several others. Fort Erie's Randy Burridge played with the Sabres from 1995 to 1998, Hamilton's Dave Andreychuk played for Buffalo from 1982 to 1993 and again from 2000 to 2001, Adam Mair also from Hamilton played for the Sabres from 2002-2010, Daniel Paille of Welland played for the Sabres from 2005-2009, Matt Ellis also of Welland has played for the Sabres since 2008, Andrew Peters of St. Catharines played for the Sabres from 2003-2009, and John Scott also of St. Catharines joined the team in 2012.)
Early in the 2011-12 season, on November 3, 2011, Kaleta was suspended for 4 regular season games for a head-butt on Philadelphia Flyers forward Jakub Voracek. This marked the third time in less than 2 seasons that Kaleta was caught head-butting.
On March 3, 2013, Kaleta hit New York Rangers forward Brad Richards into the boards from behind. Kaleta was assessed a five minute boarding major and a game misconduct. Due to repeat offenses, Kaleta was handed a 5 game suspension from the league the next day.
On October 13, 2013, Kaleta made an illegal check to the head on Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson. Kaleta was not penalized on the play, but was given a 10 game suspension by the NHL Department of Player Safety.
On November 2, 2013, after failing to find a trading partner and the end of the suspension, the Sabres placed Kaleta on waivers. Then-general manager Darcy Regier implied that the league had pressured the Sabres to expel Kaleta from the league. Kaleta cleared waivers and was assigned to the Rochester Americans, where he was to remain until, as Regier puts it, he makes significant changes to his playing style. Shortly after his arrival in Rochester, Kaleta injured his anterior cruciate ligament ending his season.
By March 2014, the point at which Kaleta's injury had healed enough to begin skating again (and by which point Regier had been dismissed), new Buffalo Sabres head coach Ted Nolan brought Kaleta back to the Sabres practices and gave him a locker in the Sabres' locker room.
Kaleta was slated to return to the Sabres for the 2014–15 season but sustained a broken face and possible concussion after getting hit with a puck during a preseason contest on September 28, 2014.
- YouTube - Pat Kaleta's First NHL Goal with goal announced
- "Buffalo's Patrick Kaleta receives four-game suspension". National Hockey League. 2011-11-03. Retrieved 2011-11-03.
- Hoppe, Bill (November 2, 2013). Sabres waive Patrick Kaleta to make room for Corey Tropp, John Scott calls out Pierre McGuire. Olean Times Herald. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
- Hoppe, Bill (March 9, 2014). Sabres newcomer Cory Conacher OK’d number with Patrick Kane; Patrick Kaleta skating again. Olean Times Herald. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
- Hoppe, Bill (October 16, 2014). Sabres notes: Patrick Kaleta back practicing, anxious to return. Olean Times Herald. Retrieved October 16, 2014.