Carrubba Collisions Courtesy Of Kaleta For Two More Years
I think the Sabres re-signing Patrick Kaleta today (thus negating his arbitration hearing next week) is a worthy enough reason to break my week-long blogging silence and get back in the swing of things, yea? Let’s have a talk about it then.
I previously theorized that Kaleta being taken to arbitration by the Buffalo Sabres might be a sign of bad blood between the two parties, but I made it clear that if the move was simply a tactic by Darcy Regier to keep Kaleta off-limits from any offer sheets from other general managers that I would applaud the decision. Well, it seems that that’s all it was, and now Kaleta is a Sabre for at least two more years. More importantly, he’ll remain an RFA after this deal is over. It is important to note that the money specifics of the deal are not yet public, but I highly doubt he’ll be earning anything over $1.2M per season.
[[UPDATE: Mike Harrington has graciously tweeted the numbers – $860K in 2010/2011 and $955K in 2011/2012. That is a STEAL.]]
I think two years is a smart, smart move by the Sabres. Kaleta is undoubtedly an important player to the Sabres. He scored 10 goals and 15 points in 55 games last season (extrapolated to 15 goals and 21 points in 82 games – chomp on those numbers for a bit), 40% of his goals were game-winners, and he was an effective penalty killer. But most importantly, he lead the league in penalties drawn vs penalties taken per 60min. TOI for the third year running.
The reason I love the decision to sign him to a two year deal is, appropriately-enough, two fold: he has a history of injuries that would make a long contract imprudent if he were to suffer anything extra serious, and even after this deal expires the Southtowns Baby-Eater will remain a restricted free agent (as I previously noted).
Now we can sit back and see what Kennedy is awarded next week (his hearing is on the 27th) and watch how the Sabres react to the arbitrator’s decision.