Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta was booted from Buffalo’s game against the New York Rangers on Sunday for checking star forward Brad Richards from behind. The NHL has scheduled a disciplinary hearing for this afternoon to determine if further punishment is warranted, according to ESPN’s Katie Strang.
It will be a phone hearing, which means that Kaleta can’t be handed a suspension that lasts longer than five games.
If you missed the hit, you can view it below:
Fortunately that hit didn’t end Brad Richards’ night, but he wasn’t shy about voicing his displeasure over the incident.
“That’s not even a head shot. That’s stupidity,” Richards said.
“If we’re all gonna look at each other’s numbers and ram each other from behind head-first into the boards it’s gonna be a tough game to play,” Richards added. “That’s not hockey. I don’t know what game he plays, actually.”
Rangers coach John Tortorella felt that the hit was “ridiculous,” “disgusting,” and showed a “lack of respect.”
The Rangers did more than just voice their displeasure though. When Kaleta hit Richards, Buffalo was up 1-0 in the third period. The New York Rangers scored twice during the ensuing five-minute major and earned a 3-2 shootout victory.
“I think it maybe woke the Rangers up a little bit,” Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller said in a Sporting News report. “I think we had lulled them to sleep for two periods there, and that’s the risk you take being aggressive. Patty tried to be hard on the puck and made a mistake. You don’t like to see that kind of hit, and we paid the price for it pretty quick.”
Sabres coach Ron Rolston added that the team has “to be smarter in that situation.”
It looks like Kaleta doesn’t have many defenders of his hit.