Patrick Kaleta Has Torn ACL, Will Not Return to Buffalo Sabres This Season


When Ted Nolan returned to the Buffalo Sabres as interim coach, many believed it would soon mark the return of Patrick Kaleta to the team’s roster as well.

Kaleta, who was waived by the team Nov. 2 and ended up in the American Hockey League with the Rochester Americans, fits to a T the “hardest-working team in hockey” mantra that Nolan championed during his original tenure in Buffalo.

Assuming the demotion to the AHL—which came after a 10-game suspension for a cheap shot to the Columbus Blue Jackets‘ Jack Johnson—gave him pause and made him think about cleaning up his game a bit, Kaleta could step back in and provide the hard hits and penalty-killing prowess that made him a serviceable player in the National Hockey League in the first place.

It was all lining up to play out that way with Kaleta returning to the blue and gold, until fate handed the Buffalo native an unlucky draw.

Kaleta suffered the injury Friday night during the Americans’ 5-3 win over the Lake Erie Monsters, in a collision with Monsters goaltender Calvin Pickard, reports Kevin Oklobzija of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

Pickard made the save and Kaleta went up and over the goalie. The back of his right leg  right near his ankle or top of the skate  slammed hard into the cross bar as he somersaulted over Pickard and then fell to the ice. He essentially ended up in the net.

Kaleta stayed sitting on the ice for a minute or two afterward, with trainer Rob Frost assessing the injury. When he did get up, he was unable to put any weight on his right leg and needed help from Frost and Kevin Porter to get to the bench. He was still in the medical room well after the game.

The injury was later confirmed to be a torn ACL by Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News, and by the Rochester Americans.

The injury will keep Kaleta out for the remainder of the 2013-14 season, as Paul Hamilton of WGR Sports Radio 550 and Oklobzija reported.

Kaleta will now have another 10 months to think about the reason behind his suspension, being dumped onto the waiver wire, and why 29 other teams in the league didn’t take a chance to snag him off it.

While the injury is a major setback for him on the ice, the time away from the game may be just what he needs to better understand his role on an NHL roster.

Read more Buffalo Sabres news on

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...