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Kaleta to play first game for Sabres in over a year

Patrick Kaleta

Buffalo Sabres right winger Patrick Kaleta (36) screams after a fight as he gets escorted to the penalty box in front of the Philadelphia Flyers’ bench during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Buffalo, N.Y., Saturday, April 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)


Heads up, everyone -- Patrick Kaleta is back.

Kaleta, who hasn’t played in the NHL in over a year due to suspension, demotion and injury, will make his season debut for the Sabres on Thursday when they take on the Wild at Xcel.

Nolan says Kaleta is in tomorrow. Maintenance day for Ennis & McCormick; they’ll play. Gorges is out, Benoit in. Enroth starts. #sabres -CR

— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) November 12, 2014

Kaleta’s last game in October ’13, when he was tossed for elbowing Columbus’ Jack Johnson in the head. A repeat offender, Kaleta was suspended 10 games for the hit and placed on waivers after serving; upon clearing, Kaleta was assigned to AHL Rochester so that, according to then-GM Darcy Reiger, he could put in “a significant amount of work” to “redesign his game.”

Less than a month into his stint with the Amerks, Kaleta tore his ACL and missed the remainder of the season.

The 28-year-old rehabbed and looked primed to make the Sabres out of training camp, only to suffer another injury when he was struck in the face with a puck. That’s kept him out of action for the entirety of this season, missing all 17 of Buffalo’s games.