Patrick Kaleta gave everything he had on every single shift while playing for the Sabres organization from 2007-2015. Now he’s going to teach youth to do the same.
The Sabres hired the Angola, NY native to serve in the role of team youth hockey ambassador. He’ll be tasked to implement and manage the “Learn to Play Program” on behalf of the Buffalo’s Sabres. In addition, he will also serve as a liaison to the WNY area high school hockey community and will provide additional support and instruction for other youth hockey initiatives in his hometown.
“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to work in the community in which I was born and raised, and to help grow the game of hockey among the youth of Western New York,” said Kaleta.
His love for the city and the team has never wavered.
“As a kid, it was always a dream of mine to become a Buffalo Sabre and now I’ll have the opportunity to help other young kids develop the same passion for hockey.” – Pat Kaleta
Developed with the help of experts from USA Hockey and Hockey Canada, the NHL/NHLPA Learn to Play initiative aims to be the gold standard for youth hockey programs with the goal of inspiring more families to join the hockey community. Learn to Play enhances the way youth hockey is offered by providing first-time participants from ages four to eight with free head-to-toe equipment, age-appropriate instruction, and certified coaching led by NHL Alumni in a fun and safe environment.
Kaleta was a sixth-round selection (176th overall) in the 2004 NHL Draft. He played 348 games for the Sabres, totalling 54 points (27G+27A) and piling up 542 penalty minutes.
In 2009, Kaleta created the Helping Individuals to Smile (HITS) Foundation, which provides financial, facility and program support for underprivileged children and adults in Western New York.