Curious about Kaleta

Much has been written about the importance of Patrick Kaleta to the Sabres, often including some classic cliches about straws stirring drinks or what not.  There have even been statistical analysis comparing Kaleta to Ilya Kovalchuk, quite favorably.  So hearing that the Sabres have taken Kaleta to salary arbitration has made some folks nervous.  Here’s why I wouldn’t worry.

Firstly, it means Kaleta should be back with the Sabres.  Either they sign him before his hearing (which happens quite a bit) or he’ll get the deal from the arbiter.  Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, Patty cannot be signed to any offer sheets.  This move keeps the other GMs in the league out of the fray, especially the ones with bigtime cap room and a need for grit.  It’s a reduction in the variables involved in the contract equation, which is always a good thing.

Worst case scenario I suppose is this getting to arbitration…but I don’t think Darcy Regier is exactly Glen Sather in there.  I don’t think Kaleta will come out in tears.

3 thoughts on “Curious about Kaleta”

  1. I’m not worried about him getting signed or whatever, what I’m worried about is the possible brewing of bad blood. This team-elected arbitration business smells like a shiftier version of the NFL’s franchise tag, and that only ever gets used on a disgruntled superstar who wants out.

    1. I haven’t seen nor heard anything about any disgruntlement. There’s no way Kaleta wasn’t getting a raise, he only made about $500k, but he only plays 10 minutes a game and scored 10 goals, so the award won’t be nutty. I definitely think it’s about protecting him from an offer sheet. Some crazed GM could throw quite a bit of a raise at the Kaleta, and still not be risking first round picks.

      I actually think that if we ever see offer sheets again, this is what you would get – not Thomas Vanek or Bobby Ryan, but more mid-level players or specialists who won’t leave the cupboard bare.

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