Pittsburgh Penguins v Buffalo Sabres

Patrick Kaleta knows that hockey people are calling him, well, “less-than-honourable” as a hockey player we’ll say, and doesn’t seem to think he deserves it. And “quite frankly,” he doesn’t seem to think his hit on Richards was all that awful either.

Note that those are both “seem to” comments, but I’m pretty confident here about my interpretation of his quotes here.

He went on WGR 550 sports radio in Buffalo today, and was asked about the hit. From the WGR550 site (via Kukla’s Korner):

Kaleta has seen the replay of the hit. He said, “I’ve watched it plenty of  times and I’m not going to get into it because, quite frankly I could, but I’m not going to because it’s over with and my focus now is forward and being able to help the guys when I can and when the time comes on the ice, I’ve got to go out there and battle for my teammates, give up my body and be a guy that people can look up at.”

Call me crazy, but “I’m not going to get into it because, quite frankly I could….” doesn’t exactly sound like “Yeah, I put him in a bad spot there, I feel bad about that” to me. That sounds like “I’m going to make it clear I didn’t think it was that bad without saying it and getting into trouble.

That’s just my opinion though, which could be wrong, you’ll be shocked to hear.

He is aware of what his latest problem hit has done to his reputation though. More from the same site (emphasis mine):

National hockey commentators like Don Cherry, Keith Jones and Nick Kypreos are criticizing Kaleta for his whole career. The winger said, “A lot of people are calling me scumbags, a dirty hockey player, but I play hard, I play on the edge. It doesn’t define me as a person, it defines one play that could be controversial either way so that’s the way it is.”

I asked him of it hurt him that a lot of prominent hockey people are calling him things like that. Kaleta said, “The can call me whatever they want to call me. People know me as a person and I know you guys and people in Buffalo see me as a hockey player, how I’ve grown and what I’m like on and off the ice so you guys know what kind of a person I am, they don’t, they see one play and judge a player and how you are as a person on that one play. To me that’s unfair, but people have their opinions and a lot of them are negative towards me, but I play for my teammates, my city, you guys, my family and my coaches.”

For sure. That hit definitely “could be controversial.”

Ah well. As long as he doesn’t seriously hurt anyone, I suppose it’s fun to have a full-blown heel in the league.

Comments (9)

  1. One of those guys who you dont want on your team.
    But who you REALLY dont want on the other team.

    • I’m a Sabres fan and the only reason I’m glad he’s on our team is so hes not doing it to us. Even though I’m not sure what team would have him. He runs around looking for the big check and draws himself out of position constantly. I remember one sequence earlier in the year where he took a giant run at someone behind our own net (hes a winger) jumped, missed the guy, bounced off the glass and fell on the back of our net.

      The fans here who defend him make me sick. The only reason I wanted a shorter suspension was so he had to answer for it 3/14 when they come to town.

      • I don’t know how you aren’t pissed at Ruff, Regier and now whatshisface for giving him a place to play and the icetime to do it. Seriously, does Buffalo have *no one* else in the A who can hit as hard while playing a little more intelligently? Maybe someone who actually knows what to do with the puck when he finds it on his stick? Like you couldn’t get those 10 points from somewhere else?

        • Hey, you’re preaching to the chior. I fight with our “fans” all the time about the waste of space. I hate watching him play. I hope he was just a Ruff guy, and hopefully Rolston will bury him.

          I’m not sure that we have any guys like that in the organization. I liked McCormick’s game as a 4th liner, but we already sent him down this year. I’m not sure we wouldn’t have traded a low-end first line center (Roy) for Steve Ott if there was a guy like that coming down the pipe.

  2. why is it we hear a guy (self) described as “plays with an edge” primarily when they’re being suspended for blazing flat across that edge?

  3. I don’t think he’s a horrible person or anything. I think he’s a bad hockey player. He makes poor choices and does dangerous things, good for him that he loves his teammates and his city, but damnit man, get your head out of your ass and realize playing on the edge isn’t a thing that cuts it in the NHL anymore.

    • Trudat. He has his “intensity”, but he’d be better served to play a more disciplined game.

  4. Actually Patrick Kaleta is a dangerous player. He is very aggressive too. It is a bad habit. Hope he will give up it. It he doesn’t it he will suffer most.

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