LEWISTON -- The collective bargaining agreement has a clause that allows teams to take players to arbitration, and the Sabres have elected to use that clause with restricted free agent Patrick Kaleta. The move ensures the right winger will be in Blue and Gold for the upcoming season.
The arbitration hearings are set for July 20 through Aug. 4 in Toronto, but the sides can negotiate until the hearing.
"The objective is to have a deal done, and hopefully it’s a multiyear deal, but the objective is to get a deal done in advance of that [hearing]," General Manager Darcy Regier said today at the Sabres' development camp at Niagara University. "Electing arbitration, it allows us to ensure a couple things: 1) that he’s playing in Buffalo; and 2) that we have a deal in place within the appropriate time frame."
The Sabres were the only team to elect to take a player to arbitration. There were 31 players who elected arbitration, including the Sabres' Tim Kennedy. Players going to arbitration get either one- or two-year contracts.
"To the extent that you see it, you usually will see it as the player electing," Regier said. "But for us, more than anything else, it’s to ensure that he’s here. It sits out there. We know that it will be settled, but we’ve got lots of time to talk and try to get something arranged."