BUFFALO – For days, Sabres winger Patrick Kaleta looked out a window in his Hamburg home and had one thought, “Man, when is this going to end?”
As foot after foot of snow from Winter Storm Knife piled up, Kaleta, like most Southtowns residents, got trapped. He spent three days shoveling and helping people.
Finally, Kaleta made it to practice today. It wasn’t easy, however.
“I had to take the long way, but I was happy to get out there and practice, for sure,” Kaleta said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center.
With most roadways closed, Kaleta had to find an alternate route. So he talked to some police friends and hatched a plan with Sabres trainer Tim Macre, who had also been stuck.
Right away, Kaleta had second thoughts when he hit McKinley Parkway.
“I was kind of double-guessing myself,” said Kaleta, who brought a shovel in his car.
It eventually got better. Kaleta drove from McKinley to Southwestern Boulevard to Transit Road to Genesee Street and then took the 33 Expressway into the city.
“I felt pretty good today,” Kaleta said following a long skate. “I don’t know what the plan is here.”
The plan is for Kaleta to stay behind as his teammates play in Washington and skate here Saturday. He also plans to skate Sunday, an off day.
If everything goes well, Kaleta could play next week, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said.
Kaleta just returned from a facial injury after tearing his ACL last season. He has played one NHL game, a 6-3 loss in Minnesota eight days ago, in 13 months.
He was scheduled to sit out Tuesday’s 4-1 win against San Jose before he got stuck at home.
Check back later for a full story on Kaleta.
Update: The game between the Sabres and New York Rangers originally scheduled for tonight has been rescheduled for Feb. 20, 2015, the NHL announced this afternoon.
That means the game between the Sabres and Ottawa Senators scheduled for that night has been moved to Dec. 15.