Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta was suspended for two games over the weekend while waiting for a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety. Today, Kaleta had that hearing, and the league gave Kaleta a 10-game suspension for the hit.
During the Sabres’ matchup with the Columbus Blue Jackets last Thursday, Kaleta went for a hit on Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson, and Kaleta’s elbow made direct contact with Johnson’s head. New rules put in place by the NHL are putting an increased emphasis on this type of hit. The hit itself did not earn a penalty from the referees, but Kaleta fought Jared Boll after the play and received the customary five-minute penalty for fighting.
Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler was suspended three games for a similar hit, but he does not have the same disciplinary history with the league that Kaleta has. Kaleta is a repeat offender based on the collective bargaining agreement after being suspended five games last season for a hit on the Rangers’ Brad Richards. He has also been fined twice and suspended twice before that hit, making this latest suspension the sixth disciplinary action taken against Kaleta in his career.
You can watch the video explanation from Brendan Shanahan below:
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Around the Rink Columnist Joe Ray – @jpray_SK
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