By Mike Harrington
NEWARK, N.J. -- Only two weeks before the Rochester Amerks play their just-about-sold-out outdoor game Dec. 13 at Frontier Field against the Lake Erie Monsters, Angola native Patrick Kaleta has almost certainly been knocked out of the unique affair after suffering what appears to be a severe leg injury in last night's 5-3 win over the Monsters.
And it sounds like the calls for him to return to Buffalo are going to have to stop too.
Veteran Rochester Democrat & Chronicle beat reporter Kevin Oklobzija tweeted late this morning that there's still no official word from the team on Kaleta's status but it certainly doesn't sound good.
Oklobzija reported late last night that Kaleta barreled over Lake Erie goalie Calvin Pickard and the back of his right leg slammed into the crossbar as he somersaulted over Pickard.
Amerks coach Chadd Cassidy would only said "it didn't look good" and "it's going to be a while" when asked about Kaleta.
Kaleta had one goal and three assists in seven games for the Amerks and had been playing a clean game with only two penalty minutes. He's back in the AHL, of course, after clearing waivers when former Buffalo GM Darcy Regier opted not to put Kaleta back on the roster following his 10-game suspension for a head shot against Columbus' Jack Johnson.
New Sabres president of hockey operations Pat LaFontaine and interim coach Ted Nolan both pushed off questions about Kaleta recently, emphasizing he had to make major changes to his game to avoid suspensions before he would be a candidate for a recall.
taggedPatrick Kaleta | Rochester Amerks