Patrick Kaleta said he didn't know much about the arbitration process and is glad he won't get a first-hand view of it come July 29. The Angola native got a two-year deal signed with the Sabres today to avoid arbitration.
"I was never a big fan of arbitration," Kaleta said this afternoon in HSBC Arena. "Going in there and pleading cases each way, I not really a fan of it. I'm happy to get it over and done with and not worry about it for a couple of years."
Kaleta was the only player in the NHL taken to arbitration by his team, a move the Sabres designed to make sure they kept him next year and didn't have him subjected to an offer sheet.
"I had to look at it in a way that the team wanted me to play next year no matter what and make sure I had a contract," he said. "It's good the team wants me and I'm happy to be able to stay in Buffalo for a couple more years at least."
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Kaleta made $522,000 last season and is likely getting in the $800-900,000 range now.
GM Darcy Regier said he agreed with Kaleta's assessment on arbitration and that the team is still talking to Tim Kennedy, whose hearing is scheduled for July 27.
Here's the audio of Kaleta and Regier meeting with reporters Wednesday afternoon in the arena. Plenty of interesting talk from Regier on the Ilya Kovalchuk contract and on the current locked state of the trade market as well.
taggedNHL | NHL free agency | Sabres | Sabres front office