Patrick Kaleta made it to practice today for the Buffalo Sabres. The Angola native and Hamburg resident had been stranded at home like everyone else in the Southtowns because of this ferocious lake-effect storm.
Kaleta traversed Southwestern Boulevard, Transit Road and Genesee Street to get to Route 33 and make it downtown. He said McKinley Parkway was dicey.
"I was happy to get out there and practice for sure," Kaleta said. "I have my greatest sympathy for the people in the Southtowns ... just sticking with it. We stick together and we'll work through it."
Kaleta will not make the trip to Washington. He'll stay behind to keep skating and work on his conditioning with hopes of perhaps playing Wednesday against Winnipeg.
"He was like a child locked up in his home who couldn't go to school for a couple days," joked coach Ted Nolan.
"I can't give enough credit to Teddy and the trainers for caring about us," Kaleta said. "When your coach and training staff and teammates care about you and want you to be safe, when the time comes you'll go the extra mile for them. It's a great feeling to know you're cared about as a person and not just a hockey player."
Nolan said he wasn't surprised Friday's game against the New York Rangers was postponed. There's no word on a makeup date as of yet.
"Right now in Western New York, there's a little bit more important things to worry about than trying to get people to a hockey rink," Nolan said. "There's some people out there that are in real rough shape so the city should pay attention to the citizens moreso than a hockey game."
Click below to hear audio today from Nolan and Kaleta. The beginning of the Nolan piece is his greeting to veteran WGR Radio reporter Paul Hamilton, who has been stranded in his Lancaster home since the storm began and also rejoined practice from the media end today.